Nigeria needs N1.2b annually to maintain national stadia, says Dare
Youth and Sports Development Minister, Sunday Dare has disclosed that his ministry will require about N1.2 billion annually to maintain the existing stadia across the country.
Dare, however, said the government would explore options to bridge the gaps owing to budgetary constraints. He explained that government might consider concessioning some of the facilities to the private sector to ensure proper maintenance in line with international best practices.
The minister’s explanation came yesterday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, while responding to questions over concerns about poor maintenance of stadia in the country, and the financial implications in their construction.
“Government is serious about renovating sports facilities in the country, especially the dilapidated federal stadia across the country, but to maintain any of the public stadia scattered across the country, it will cost nothing less than N1.2billion,” he noted.
Fielding other questions, he said preparations for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan has already begun, adding there were plans to send most of the coaches to countries with better facilities to further hone their technical knowledge.
“Nigeria’s outing in Morocco will serve as a benchmark for the 2020 Olympics preparation. Team Nigeria finished second at Rabat, Morocco behind Egypt at the just concluded African Games. Nigeria won a total of 121 medals: 46 gold, 33 silver and 47 bronze.
“North African country, Egypt emerged top on the medal table with 99 gold medals, 96 silver and 69 bronze to bring their total medals to 264. South Africa came third with a total of 87 medals.
“Team Nigeria had only seven weeks to prepare, if they had a longer period to prepare they would have done better. So there is a lesson learnt from that event.“The athletes will leave for the World Championships in Doha on Saturday and the outcome will determine Nigeria’s performance in the 2020 June Olympics.”