VON) Anambra state government in Eastern Nigeria says it has proposed to spend N858 million on the execution of sports and youth entrepreneur programmes this year.
The Anambra state Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Uju Nwogu said that in the draft capital expenditure, N160 million was earmarked for stadium projects in Awka and Onitsha.
The budget proposal indicated that the amount surpassed the ministry’s expenditure on the programmes in 2015 and 2016 which amounted to N61.2 million and N54.1 million respectively.
Nwogu said that if the money was approved, the various stadia across the state, including Awka Township Stadium would be developed.
“We want to look at the different stadia, the Awka Township Stadium needs to be developed so that we can have a befitting sports facility in the state capital.
“The sports facilities in the state are dilapidated and some of them are simply obsolete,’’ she said.
Nwogu, however, said that nothing was budgeted for Anambra Games Villages on which N10 million was spent in 2015.
“The largest chunk of the budget was N395 million for the proposed enumeration of unemployed youths in the 21 local government council areas of the state as well as their training and startup packs.
“A sum of N4.4m was spent on the same programme in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
“The proposal showed that N80 million was budgeted for sports competitions at the national and state levels as against N17.8 million and N15.3 million spent in 2015 and 20016 respectively,’’ the commissioner said.
Anambra state did not hold its Sports Festival and School Sports Festival last year.
Reacting to the non-hosting of the sports fiestas, Nwogu assured the people of the state that a committee had been set up to work out a calendar for state organized Games in 2017.
She promised that with adequate funding the competitions would be executed this year.
“The festival was not adequately provided for in the budget last year.
“We shall have a state sports festival that will be a build up to the National Sports Festival this year.
“The Federation Cup, open championships are all contained in this year’s budget,” Nwogu said.
She added that the Development Grant to Special Sports was N10 million, while Capacity Grants for special activities and skills for officers through seminars and workshop was also N10 million.
The commissioner assured the people that Anambra youths would have a fruitful sports and entrepreneurial year if the proposal was approved and funded.
“If it is approved, the sports and youth sector under this ministry which is geared toward making the youth useful will be implemented.
“We will achieve so many things, including developing youths with skills and grants and renovating our stadia,’’ she added.