Enugu proposes take-over of Azikiwe stadium’s maintenance
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung has said the successes recorded overtime by Nigerian sportsmen and women could not have been possible without the active contribution and collaboration of state governments especially in the provision and development of sports infrastructure in their states.
The minister made this observation while speaking with the Enugu State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Ndukwe Charles, who presented a letter of request on behalf of the state Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi yesterday in his office in Abuja.
Charles disclosed to the minister the state’s interest to take over the maintenance and operation of the Indoor Sports Hall of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu as part of their sports development efforts.
“We want to do a good work on the stadium, especially now that Enugu Rangers has qualified for international campaigns,” the commissioner said.
Charles assured that the state would endeavour to ensure access of the public to the stadium facility whenever there is need t do so.
The state government also assured Dalung of adequate fund for the project, as proposal on the request was already captured in the 2017 state’s budget.
Dalung, however, assured the state that the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports will collaborate with them to ensure a smooth handing over of the Indoor Sports Hall, Nnamdi Azikiwe for necessary maintenance and operation.
According to Dalung, “please inform His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi that we will consider his request and let me say that it is commendable that the Enugu State government has indicated interest in upgrading the stadium to international standard.’’
The minister also used the opportunity to congratulate the state on the Rangers International’s feat and their return to the forefront of continental sports.
It would be recalled that in 1997, Enugu State government did a lot of maintenance work on the stadium prior to the World Youth Games; while in 2013, the Federal Government handed over the stadium to the state government without the indoor sports hall.