Bayelsa Hosts Mega Sports Games in December
There are indications that the Senator Douye Diri led administration is set to score another milestone in sports development as it braces to host the Federation of Public Service Games (FEPSGA) next month in the state
National President of the organizing body, Aloku Amaebi who gave the hint stated that necessary correspondences have been sent to the Bayelsa state government in this regard to stage the mega Sports festival tagged “Bayelsa 2020” .
He further explained that this year’s game which is the 39th edition of the historic national sports event will attract participants from over seventy federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies and will be declared open by Governor of Bayelsa state, Senator Douye Diri.
He hinted that Bayelsa State was chosen to host the 2020 edition considering its strategic importance to the economic growth of the nation.
According to the statement, the sports event is timely as the state stands to derive huge socio-economic and cultural benefits ranging from stimulating significantly the economic growth of the young state to substantially generate enormous income for the economic drivers such as market men and woman, food vendors, hoteliers, and entertainment and show business proprietors.
Other benefits of hosting the sports event include sustainable increase in the volume of trade and investments to the state, boosting the internally generated revenue (IGR) and providing a veritable platform to showcase the rich cultural heritage and endowments of the good people of Bayelsa State.
The statement further maintains that in addition to resuscitating the business activities that were crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic, the sports fiesta will as well boost the image of the state as the home of peace, excellence and national unity to the global community.
According to the National President of the organizing body, a letter requesting the Bayelsa State government to host the 39th edition of the game has already been transmitted to the executive governor, Senator Douye Diri for consideration.
The Public Service Games is an annual sports event for Nigerian Public Servants. It is organized by the Federation of Public Service Games which is the umbrella body of sports for the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The game is equivalent to the national Sports Festival in terms of value and provides an ample opportunity for Nigerian public servants to interact, share and exchange socio-cultural values for the purpose of fostering national cohesion and integration.
The games also promote mental alertness and physical fitness of public servants in Nigeria as well as promote greater efficiency and higher productivity among the nations’ workforce.
The Public Service Games started in Nigeria about four decades ago. Different states across the six geo-political zones had played host to the game, including Rivers, Lagos, Bauchi and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
In the last decade, Cross River state hosted the 30th edition in 2011 with Sen. Liyel Imoke as executive governor. Akwa Ibom state under Godswill Akpabio hosted the 31st edition in 2012. The 32nd edition held in 2013 in Benue state under Dr. Gabriel Suswan and the 33rd edition held in 2014 in Ondo state under Dr. Olusegun Mimiko.
The 34th edition held in Imo State in 2015 with Owelle Rochas Okorocha as governor, while the 35th edition in Plateau in 2016 under Simon Lalong.
The 36th and 37th editions held in 2017 and 2018 respectively in Bauchi and Kogi States while Nassarawa state hosted the last edition in 2019 under Governor Abdullahi Sule.
As Bayelsa State braces to host the game this year, it will be the first major sports fiesta that will be coming to the state since its creation in 1999.