There is hope for the National Stadium in Lagos after over a decade of neglect. Hope for the rehabilitation of the centre was revived on Tuesday with the inauguration of a Ministerial Task Force that would midwife the process. The task force will screen tenancy documents and verify legal and illegal structures within the national arena.
Speaking during the inauguration of the committee, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare said the committee has a mandate to help government commence the initial steps to bring back the lost glory.
He said, “The National Stadium, Lagos holds a lot of fond memories for our sportsmen and sportswomen and indeed millions of Nigerians.
“Government shall no longer allow our sporting infrastructure to waste. President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to completing abandoned infrastructure and also maintaining the ones that have deteriorated. The Moshood Abiola, Ahmadu Bello, Awolowo national stadiums shall be restored and made available to serve our athletes. Through a robust PPP model of concession and the Adopt-a-Sports-centre initiative these stadiums are set to enjoy some renovations.
“The concession process of the athletes’ hostel in Abuja and the Lagos National Stadium as approved by the Federal Government is now on a fast track.
“Before the process is complete, we need to restore sanity to a place like the stadium in Lagos. So the work of the task force is cut out. In the past, we had interlopers, now it is going to be fixed to serve our teeming youth. The task force will carry out its assignment according to the law of the land.”
The Special Adviser, Media to the Minister, John Joshua-Akanji said the terms of reference of the committee include: carry out audit of approved tenants; verify details of tenancy agreement; come up with list of all approved and unapproved physical structures and approved construction; list of all squatters and their business, carry out a detailed analysis of all revenue generated at the stadium and take inventory of all shops and businesses within the stadium premises.
The committee headed by the Permanent Secretary Gabriel Aduda is made up of 13 members drawn from the ministry and the organized private sector and with the full complements of security agencies.
The committee has three weeks to complete its assignment.
In January this year the minister directed the facilities department to issues forms to all occupants to provide important information about their businesses and activities within the stadium. This documentation will form the major working document of the Task force.