FG to make National stadium, Lagos, Nigeria’s Wembley – Dare
The Federal Government, yesterday, expressed its preparedness to revamp the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, and make it a true national monument comparable in stature to the Wembley Stadium, in England.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, who made the disclosure, while on a tour of sporting facilities in Lagos State, said also in line for the makeover are other national stadia across the country.
The minister, who parleyed with the Lagos State government and other stakeholders, who would help drive the process, also visited the Teslim Balogun Stadium, and the Onikan Stadium in company of Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Vice-President, Seyi Akinwunmi; President of Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) and other stakeholders, said the visit would bring in the desired growth in sport across the country.
“I think today is historical because we are seeing the next level in sports development in this country. There is no sport development without facilities. And like I said, we need to maintain our facilities, we need to upgrade and manage them properly .
“What you see today is the first step towards maintaining what is a national monument, which is the National Stadium. Exactly two weeks ago, I was here and I made a promise we will come back again with His Excellency to evaluate and look at the stadium,” he said, adding that the presence of other stakeholder was an evidence to make it a reality.
“You can see this is a clear testimony because the various stakeholders necessary to drive this process are here today. The state government is the landlord and the state is a major stakeholder in any process concerning the National Stadium.
“We believe this process will be accelerated and it will signpost what will happen to other stadia across the country: the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Moshood Abiola Stadium and of course the Obafemi Awolowo Stadium formerly the Liberty Stadium. We will go forward from here to do what is necessary.
“We have a transaction advisor and the relevant agencies that will help us to accelerate the process. And I think we want to turn the National Stadium to Nigeria’s Wembley. If you know what Wembley is; we have a Wembley here and we have the commitment of all the stakeholders here to make sure that we bring this to the level of the Wembley Stadium in England,” he stated.
Speaking on the occasion, Sanwo-Olu said, “I can tell you that we are going to be take part in the exercise. We are not asking the Federal Government to hand it over to us because we are Lagos State.
“We want to do things properly and things that will go through full proof to see that we are serious with we are talking about. At the end of the day, we’re hoping we will be able to turn everything in that National Stadium into an International asset that everyone will be proud of.”
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