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HomeSportsSunday Dare: N21bn needed to renovate national stadium in Lagos

Sunday Dare: N21bn needed to renovate national stadium in Lagos

Sunday Dare, minister for sports and youth development, says at least N21 billion is needed for the renovation of the national stadium in Surulere, Lagos.

The minister spoke during an inspection tour on the ongoing rehabilitation work on the stadium on Friday.

He said the ministry has only been able to secure four percent of the amount needed for the renovation of the sporting edifice.

The national stadium was built in 1972 and was the venue when Nigeria won its first African Cup of Nations (AFCON) trophy in 1980.

The stadium, however, turned moribund in the early 2000s when it last hosted national team matches.

Dare said Kensington Adebutu, the chairperson of Premier Lotto, agreed to fund the refurbishment of “the football pitch and tracks and digital scoreboard” with N400 million.

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

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

“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,” Dare said.

“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.”

‘N600M OWED IN POWER BILL AS OF FIVE YEARS AGO’

The minister revealed that the stadium was owing at least 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.”

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