The Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Sunday Dare has explained reasons for the delay in the planned renovation of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
The Minister earlier disclosed in 2019 after his first six months in office that Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote has agreed to renovate the Main Bowl of the MKO Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
While speaking on Tuesday night on Sports Radio, Brila FM – The Minister called for calm and for more time as the project is a private project and the funds are coming from a private individual.
“We were on the verge of completing the documentation process before the novel covid19 struck out and we had to shut down the whole country, a global shutdown as the case may be,’ Dare said.
“Remember, It’s a private investment, private support from Alhaji Dangote’s company and they have to go through a lot of processes, they have to invite up to 8 different contractors; They have to visit the stadium, they have to turn in their bill of quantity and they have to sit on a review board.
“The company also has to decide on which contractor is the most suitable to give us the best job, being the National stadium, all of these take time, they are normal standard operating processes.
“I’m glad to say that very soon, we are now in the stage of purchasing order and we must also remember that we cannot force the process because we are dealing with a well respected Nigerian who is bringing in money without plans to recoup anything back to help maintain the national stadium,’ The Minister added.
It would be recalled that the 60,000 capacity stadium was built in 2003 during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration and over the years, the national edifice began to waste away.
The last major sporting event held at the stadium was the National Sports Festival held in December 2018 while the last competitive football game was on April 12, 2016, which was the 2nd leg of the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifier between the Super Falcons of Nigeria and Senegal.