5th July, 2011
The 17th National Sports Festival in Port Harcourt, Rivers State is yet to spark excitement among the locals, most of whom are not aware or concerned about the ongoing national tournament in the city.
P.M.Sports can report that residents and business enterprises in and around the stadia hosting the Games are yet to tap from the competition.
Some of the indigenes, who spoke with P.M.Sports said that they are not interested in the Games basically because it does not have a direct effect on them.
Some even questioned the rationale behind the hosting, given the infrastructural vacuum that is yet to be fixed.
Chijioke, an electronic shop owner, said that business has not been any better since the start of the Games.
He claimed that he has not even seen or felt the influx of people to the state as claimed by the organisers. â€œNothing has really changed in this state. Business has been the same, we donâ€™t even know if people have really come into the city. We hope things change before the Games end,â€ he said.
Olumide, an Oyo State indigene who drives a cab in Port Harcourt, said the taxi drivers have not made so much from the Games like they envisaged. He said the drivers were expecting heavy traffic of people, but is yet to materialise. â€œI have not really made money because my profit margin is not different from what I used to make,â€ he stated. Olumide claims to make around N3,000 daily.
P.M.Sports also observed that the distance of the venues of most of the events posed a major threat to traders who fear that they made have spent too much on transporting their goods to the stadia.
Mama Uche, a restaurant owner, claimed that the visiting contingents have found Rivers State too expensive.