The Delta State Government proposes to spend N15.7 billion to strengthen its Sports Commission during the 2023 fiscal year.
The Executive Chairman of the Sports Commission, Chief Tonobok Okowa, disclosed this during the 2023 budget defence meeting with the State House of Assembly Committee on Youths and Sports on Thursday in Asaba.
Okowa, who was represented by the Director General of the Commission, Mr Christopher Anazia, said that out of the figure, N8.9 billion was for Capital Expenditure, while N6.8 billion was for Recurrent Expenditure.
He said that out of the amount, the commission was proposing the sum of N5.3 billion for sports development, which he identified as ‘Special Area’ in the state.
Okowa said that under the capital expenditure, the projects to be executed included the construction of a mini stadium at Koko in Warri, Owa-Oyibu stadium in Ika South, Agbor township stadium in Ika North East, and maintenance of stadia across the state.
He also said that the commission was proposing the sum of N5.3 billion as overhead cost to cater for sports development in the state.
“The areas to cover under this subhead include the state and national sports festivals, state and national sports competitions, grants to Warri Wolves, grants to Delta Queens and grants to other football clubs among others,” Okowa said.
He however, appealed to the committee to increase funding for the various state’s sports leagues, adding that they needed to be adequately funded.
“I wish to appeal to this great committee to graciously consider and allocate more funds for the smooth running of the state sports commission.
“The Delta Queens and Warri Wolves are doing excellently well in their various leagues, and they need funding to maintain their leading position.
“Secondly, the commission has a lot of qualified professionals and over the years, they have not been sent for training and retraining neither have they been able to pay their annual subscription fees.
“I crave the indulgence of the committee to allocate us funds to enable our professionals maintain their membership status with their different associations.
“Lastly, to make provision for funds for the purchase of buses for various sports associations to enhance movement of sportsmen and women to various national competition venues across the country,” Okowa said.
He commended the committee members for efficiently performing their oversight functions and said that the Commission was almost set for the hosting of National Sports Festival in the state.
“Every facility required for the smooth take-off of the event is already in place,” Okowa added.
Responding, the Chairman of the committee, Mr Fred Martins, assured the commission that the committee would look into its request.