Abuja National stadium decay: The media is right in criticizing us- Dalung

Abuja National stadium decay: The media is right in criticizing us- Dalung
April 19 17:06 2019 Print This Article

By Martin Odiete

Nigeria Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung has declared that he is holding nothing against the section of media who have criticized them over the poor state of the Abuja National stadium saying that the criticisms are as a result of genuine concern for the state of the Abuja National stadium.

In recent weeks the social and the main media has been agog with the news of the pathetic state of the Abuja National stadium. With the ministry of Youth and Sports receiving hard knocks over their neglect of the international sporting edifice

Speaking with www.theajasanews.com in his office in Abuja on Thursday, Dalung noted that he is also in pain to see the stadium in such condition lamenting that he could do not do much to restore the image of the stadium which was built to host the 2003 8TH All Africa Games. He stressed that the case of the Abuja National stadium is like the case of a sick child in the hands of a helpless parent who for the reason of lack of funds resorted to using local solution to sustain the child instead of carrying out full scale treatment   

“The writings in the media to me is an expression of concern, I mean you put a lot of money in the project and then you watch it deteriorate and it is deteriorating in a manner similar to the Lagos stadium,” he said

He however explained the challenges the ministry is facing in maintaining such a gigantic complex stressing that the contractors who built the stadium gave them a whooping budget of two Billion Naira to maintain the stadium annually.

“The cost of maintenance of the national stadium in Abuja is two billion Naira for a single year, yes; it is two billion Naira every year that is the maintenance contract which the contractor gave to the ministry then.”

“So, that is the situation now, we have been managing from our overheads and trying to keep the stadium going. Sometimes, when we have events taking place there, we mobilise intervention funds to try to update some of the facilities. and what we get from the budgetary allocation yearly to maintain the six National stadium under our care is in the region of 200 million Naira. So, how far can that money go the maintain the six stadia?

Solomon Dalung however stated that it is not all story of helplessness saying that the ministry has gone far in the process to concession the Abuja and the Lagos National stadia.

“There will be in concession for the Abuja and Lagos stadia, and we have gotten interesting expression of interest from serious-minded men and women in the private sector, and we are looking forward to getting the budget passed to complete the process.

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