Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare, has decried the state of the National Stadium, Lagos, but has vowed to work towards renovating the abandoned edifice back to an active usage within the next few years.
The new ‘Games Master’ of the federation in a tweet on Sunday, Dare said he was bothered about the “deplorable” state of the stadium during his one-day visit.
The stadium, which was on Democracy Day 2019 renamed as Moshood Abiola National Stadium, was completed in 2003 ahead of the 8th All Africa Games which took place in October that year.
But the current state of the facility has been a cause of worry among athletes and other sports stakeholders in the country.
He, however, said his administration would ensure that “national monuments” were not left to suffer.
He said, “Yesterday (Saturday), I inspected briefly the National Stadium. The deplorable state of the stadium concentrates the mind. A national monument left to waste. Thank God the Buhari government is taking proactive steps at restoration. I key into this. Our National Stadium will regain its glory.
“The effort to restore this national edifice, which is central to bringing back the culture of sports, will require political will, resources, various levels of government working together and importantly a large dose of participation by the private sector. I am determined to drive this process.”
According to him, Nigeria should have between 10 and 12 international standard stadiums.
He said, “As I have said before I will not be only the minister of football, but sports. Nigeria has excelled in many sports; we have about 12 sports which we have competitive edge.
“We should have up to 10 or 12 international standard stadium and pitches up top FIFA standard. So, there is a renewed political will to restore the stadium.”