By Tom Degun

Abuja Nigeria_30-11-11November 30 - Nigeria's capital city Abuja have declared their plan to launch a bid for the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which is the home of Abuja, are keen to use the event to boost the economic prospects in the region and FCT delegations attended the recent seminar at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland which looked at the benefits of hosting the event.

"We are determined to seek ways and means by which the accelerated development of infrastructure in the FCT could be enhanced so that the socio-economic status of the inhabitants would be transformed," said FCT Minister Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide.

"To this end, it is the desire of this administration that an exclusive or a distinctive sports district be developed through a public-private partnership initiative.

"This is expected to be accomplished at little or no cost to the Government and will subsequently revert to public facilities after the Games."

The Minister also indicated that if a 2018 Youth Olympic bid is successful, the Nigerian city could well launch a bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Abuja actually bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games but they were beaten by sole rivals Glasgow in Scotland by 47 votes to 24 at the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) General Assembly in Colombo in 2007.

But an ominous sign for the Nigerian city is that Glasgow could well bid for the event.

The Scottish city would likely be strong contenders for the competition due to the fact that they will have many of the venues in place from the 2014 Commonwealth Games, but no firm decision has yet been made by the British Olympic Association (BOA) despite that fact that it has been discussed on several occasions by the organisation.

The Youth Olympics, a competition eligible for 14 to 18-year-olds, was successfully staged for the first time ever in Singapore in 2005, with Innsbruck set to host the inaugural Winter Youth Olympics next January.

Nanjing in China will host the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics, while Lillehammer, Norway will host the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics as the only bidding candidate for the event.

As well as potential bids from Abuja and Glasgow, candidates for the 2018 Youth Olympics will include Buenos Aires and Monterrey ibn Mexico, who have already said that they will bid for the competition, while other potential bid cities are Medellín in Colombia, Kazan in Russia, the Hague in the Netherlands and Makhachkala in Dagestan, a neighbour of Chechnya.

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