National Stadium Lagos To Gulp N21bn For Renovation, N600m Owed In Power Bill – Sports Minister

The minister of sports and youth development, Sunday Dare, has said that the national stadium in Surulere, Lagos will cost at least N21 billion o be renovated.

The minister disclosed this during an inspection tour of the ongoing restoration work on the stadium on Friday.

Dare said the ministry has secured just four percent of the amount required to renovate the sporting facility.

Recall that the national stadium was built in 1972 and was used as one of the stadiums for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in 1980 which Nigeria won.

Sunday Dare

But the stadium was abandoned in the early 2000s when the country’s national team last played any of its matches there.

The minister said the chairperson of Premier Lotto, Kensington Adebutu, is funding the refurbishment of “the football pitch and tracks and digital scoreboard” with N400 million.

He added that “80 percent of the job for all those three items is almost done”.

He solicited intervention from private organisations to “adopt” other facilities that require renovation in the stadium.

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Dare said, “We needed N21 billion to fix this place as at three years. We only got an injection of N400 million or maybe 400 million plus. About four percent of the 100 percent of what we need. We were realistic. We approached funders, and they asked for priority projects, and we listed eight of them.

“And the funder said he was going to do the football pitch and tracks and digital scoreboard. Now 80% of the job for all those three items is almost done.

“As I said, there is no silver bullet because if I need 100 percent and I have four percent with an additional two percent from the government, I have to keep going.”

Speaking further, the minister said that the stadium was owing not less than N600 million in electricity bills in 2018.

He added that the water bill was over “N150 million” but “we’ve been able to restore the water”.

“As at five years ago, the PHCN bill of the stadium is N600 million. So I had the choice of taking the N400 million that I have to pay for that or doing the tracks and playing pitch,” the minister said.

“The water bill was also immense but we’ve been able to restore the water. We were owing over N150 million in bills, but the water has been restored. “When you look at the debt profile, it is huge. The stadium was left for 17 years with nothing happening.”

Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

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