Barrister Solomon Dalung, the Minister of Youth and Sports has been counting the gains of the just concluded 19th National Sports Festival held in Abuja.
In an exclusive interview with some journalists on Tuesday, the Minister said that he is overwhelmed by the value added to the country’s economy as a result of the festival which took place from December 6th-16th 2018.
“The National Sports Festival produced over 163 millionaires because I know of at least one state whose Governor promised each gold medalist one million Naira. That state won 163 gold medals and they have made those athletes millionaires.
“This is besides those who won more than two gold medals. Some states promised half a million naira for each gold medal so the number of millionaires will even rise beyond that and I can confidently state that from the National Sports Festival, we have produced at least 200 millionaires.
“That is empowerment and you can’t find any country in Africa where they have been able to empower young people in just 10 days and produced 200 millionaires. This has impacted positively on youth development but the greatest benefit of the NSF is the building of bridges between the young people and the bonding which I personally witnessed. This cannot be quantified in monetary terms”.
Barrister Dalung also said that the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP would have increased during the period of the festival which lasted 10 days.
“During the 19th National Sports Festival, wealth was distributed. By the end of this quarter when the GDP report will be produced by the National Bureau of Statistics , there will be either a 0.2 or 0.3 steady growth as the contribution from sports because of the National Sports Festival so we, in the Ministry of Youth and Sports can beat our chests and say that we have contributed to the GDP of the country in 2018” Barrister Dalung said.
35 states and the Federal Capital Territory took part in the 10 day festival which was won by Delta state.