Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has promised to bequeath a legacy for the next generation.
He made the promise when he visited the National Stadium Surulere in company of the Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung on Wednesday.
According to a press statement issued by the special adviser to the sports minister, Nneka Ikem Anibeze, the governor said that his government will create an all inclusive infrastructure that will not only provide facilities for sports men and women to train but will also allow families to bond.
“We promised during our campaign to use tourism, entertainment, arts and sports to drive youth employment and excellence. This is just one chapter in that road map to growing the GDP of Lagos. We cannot fold our arms and leave this monument to waste away. The last match that was played here was almost fifteen years ago. The truth is that the inner key to youth empowerment and youth employment is in re-establishing this edifice to its real world class standard, and then you earn layers of employment for our younger ones and even create family bonding”
Earlier, the minister thanked Governor Ambode and the people of Lagos State for stepping in to restore national pride to the stadium.
Barrister Dalung noted that the country’s sports history remains inconclusive if nothing is done to address the level of deterioration at the National Stadium.
“This edifice is a monument of national pride. Our visit is very important because it has provided us with the information on how we got to where we are today and what steps can be taken to forestall this in future. We have gone round and seen that this edifice is in a sorry state. The level of dilapidation is embarrassing. It can never be equated with our civilization as a people.”
Barrister Dalung urged the governor to establish a state infrastructural development agency when negotiations on the stadium are concluded, to help in the sustenance and development of the structure. He also promised continued partnership with Lagos state in other sports and youth empowerment related projects.
The Governor and the Minister visited the two training pitches, the indoor halls, the main bowl, switch room, the dilapidated boardroom as well as the players’ changing rooms.
Talks on a possible handover of the National Stadium to Lagos state will continue after a technical team carries out an evaluation of the level of decadence at the stadium.