If the words Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare are anything to go by, the dilapidated National Stadium in Lagos will receive a new lease of life.
The once glamorous sporting arena, which at its bloom was nicknamed ‘Sports City’ has become an eye sore sited strategically at the centre of what is proposed to be a megacity.
The stadium last hosted a major match on April 30, 2004 when home-based Nigeria national team lost 0-1 to Senegal in an LG sponsored mini tournament.
The arena, which co-hosted the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations steadily, went into disrepairs. Sunday Dare is the 15th Sports Minister that will oversee the stadium since it started going into disrepairs in 1999.
After his visit to the arena that hosted the All Africa Games in 1973, the Africa Cup of Nations in 1980 and 2000 as well as the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 1999, Dare promised to be the turn-around manager.
Visiting on a rainy day, which made the arena even more deplorable, Dare lamented the decaying state of the edifice but promised to put in motion a process of refurbishing it.
This is an area his 14 predecessors have failed.
“The President Muhammadu Buhari administration is conscious of the state of our facilities and it behoves of me to physically see them and we can take it up from there.
“I have visited the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja. I have also been to Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna and I would be inspecting others stadia.
“So, this would be one of the several inspection that we are going to do on these facilities. We are going to do a report and audits would be done before the actual renovation,” the Minister explained.