ABUJA – (Federal Ministry of Youth & Sports Development Report) – The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has said that against the general perception that the MKO Abiola National Stadium is under total disrepair and not functional, he will leave no stone unturned to bring it up to a 100 per cent usage and capacity.
The Minister said this on Friday August 23, 2019 barely 72 hours after assumption of office as he was being conducted round the MKO Abiola National Stadium in Abuja accompanied by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Olusade Adesola and other officials on an inspection tour of the facilities. He further stated that only South Africa has the kind of Velodrome facility that exists at the stadium in the whole of Africa. He observed that the Velodrome is fully functional because a cycling competition was recently held there which ended in July 2019.
Sunday Dare added that the stadium facility is impressive and of world – class standard which the country should be proud of. In expressing joy that the maintenance culture has already gained ground, he emphasized that the entire facility in the stadium would be maintained, including the football pitch before the end of this year, bearing any funding constraints.
He reiterated that the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari is committed to youth development because of the critical position which the youth is occupying in the country. He also mentioned that the President has charged all the Ministers, including himself to look for innovative ways to generate funds beyond the budget.
“I am looking at the pitch with a sense of revenue generating possibility through advertising, like is bebeing done in other international stadiums all over the world with different companies advertising over time. A lot of revenue can come from here. We are thinking outside the box,” the Minister stated.
While addressing the media after the inspection, Sunday Dare wished the Team Nigeria delegation to the 12th Africa Games in Morocco a huge success. He espoused fulfilment that the country excelled in Badminton, saying Nigeria was also on the way to wining the biggest laurel in table tennis.
In encouraging all the athletes, he informed them that Nigerians stand behind them, urging them to represent the country well and be good ambassadors. He expressed belief in them and their talents and prayed for them, while wishing them a very good outing as they compete with athletes from different countries.
The Sports Minister assured them that he is going to be a dedicated Minister of Youth and Sports Development, promising that as soccer is loved by most Nigerians, football will get the attention it deserves. He continued that badminton, cycling, athletics and table tennis, among other sports in which the country has the leverage will get equal attention. He assured that he will seek to ensure that beyond football, other sports get upliftment.