Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo says the State Sports Festival will henceforth become an annual event and part of official sports calendar of the state.
The governor disclosed this while declaring open the 3rd edition of the festival in Benin on Monday, which is taking place 19 years after the 2nd edition was held.
He said the festival would also be synchronised with the sports calendar of the Federal Ministry of Sports.
Obaseki said the event would serve as a unifying platform for people across the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state in spite of their cultural and religious diversity.
He urged the state contingents to compete to win with the right attitude and abide by the rules and regulations.
The governor promised that overall winner of the competition would get N5 million, while 2nd and 3rd positions get N3 million and N1 million respectively.
Earlier, the Chairman, Edo Sports Commission, Mr Godwin Dudu-Orumen, said the event was to celebrate the best of cultures, sports and spirit of competitiveness.
Dudu-Orumen said the competition would afford the state the opportunity to test run facilities built by the Obaseki administration ahead of the National Sports Festival.
He said it would also be used to select athletes to represent the state at the national festival.