By Goodluck Ikiebe
Nigeria’s Sports Development Minister, Senator John Enoh, has assured that government will resuscitate and turn-around of the facilities at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, not only to meet up with international best standards but also because it is a definitive National Monument.
The Minister, who gave the assurance today, Wednesday, while answering questions from journalists after the inspection tour of the edifice, stated that the facility has the capacity to become one of the best multi purpose Stadium Complex in Africa.
“As a result, government will ensure the maintenance of the current infrastructure with a view to making it better, in line with global standards”
According to him, amidst the so much that I have seen here, the positives and the negatives, this Stadium is a very definitive National Monument. There is about nothing that you will find elsewhere, that you cannot find here.
“However, from 2003 till date, the facility has gone through a lot. The Ministry under my leadership will do all that it can, to get every part of the Stadium functional, including the athletes hostel, because athletes must have the best, to be the best”, he added.
Senator Enoh explained that the tour he embarked on today, was to enable him to have, not only a first hand knowledge of the state of the edifice but also for a systematic approach towards ensuring the development of sports in the country.
“We embarked on this tour because whatever one wants to do, we have to do it from a standpoint of knowledge, and that is what I am doing. Yesterday (Tuesday) was my first day at work and I had the opportunity to take reports and briefings from all the departments. We are trying to be as systematic as we can, with the process”, Enoh explained.
“Facilities and infrastructures are key components of sports, and they are variables that drive both elite performance and grassroots development. It is therefore very important that we get it right, we must maintain the current infrastructure that we have and look towards making them better, to match what we have across the world”, he promised.
Enoh explained that Sports is a peculiar sector that excites so much passion in all Nigerians. This passion, he added, led to the decision of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to make the sector stand alone and also appoint him to pilot the affairs of the sector.
The Minister, alongside the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, who were led on the inspection tour by the Director of Facilities and Stadium Management in the Ministry, Engr. Alanamu Abolore, assured further that he will soon embark on the same tours of sporting facilities across the country to assess their state in order to take definitive action on their development.
Senator Enoh reiterated his call on relevant stakeholders to join hands with the government with a view to developing Sports not only as a recreation but also to contribute to the economic development of the country.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, thanked the Minister for taking out time to inspect the facilities in order to have first hand knowledge of the challenges on ground.
He assured that officials and staff of the Ministry will continue to ensure the full implementation of the policies, initiatives, programmes and projects of the Federal Government for the growth and development of the nation.