Sports Festival Athletes Groan Under Lack Of Water, Inflation Of Hotel Prices, Fares In Benin
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By Hananeel Jackson
The environment in Benin City, venue of the 20th National Sports Festival ,seems not to be conducive for athletes days after their arrival as they were seen carrying buckets to fetch water at the Athletes Camp at the University of Benin.
Edo state government prior to the fiesta had boasted of hosting a befitting showpiece but the event twice suffered postponement due to outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic and scarcity of funds.
However, athletes from different states were seen in queue struggling to get water to wash their clothes after training at the University of Benin hostels.
An athlete who gave his name as Solomon said he has been in queue for over six hours to get water since he returned from training,stressing that the process of fetching water from third floor in the hostel was telling on them.
He pleaded to the Local Organising committee to ensure that there was water in the hostels for the athletes to use after training.
Another athlete from Akwa Ibom State who would not like his name mentioned said after the series postponements Edo state would have used the opportunity to give Nigeria the best showpiece, stating that rather it has become the National Sports Festival.
He frowned at the poor condition of the hostel where athletes are exposed to mosquito bites and rodents in their rooms, bemoaning the poor quality and quantity of meals.
A Weightlifter from Kaduna state who spoke on the condition of anonymity described the Edo 2020 as a disaster compared to the last edition in Abuja where they were comfortable in their hostels without struggling for water and to how bath,pointing out that sorry state of the hostels was affecting them negatively.
He however called on those in charge of the hostels to put the environment into proper condition.
Meanwhile, transporters and hoteliers have suddenly increased their fares.
Every drop no matter how short in Benin City is now N500 while to far distance range from N2000 to N5000 as bus drivers have also increased their fares astronomically.
Hotel Owners have equally taken advantage of the high demand for rooms to hike prices as rooms that before now went for N5,000 is now N8,500 while those of N10,000 now goes for N15,000