By Williams Anuku
Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare has said a whooping N1.2 billion will be required by the Federal Government to maintain the stadium in most states of the country, on an annual basis.
He said it would not be feasible to provide such funding in view of the budgetary constraints, hence government would explore options to bridge the gaps.
He however added that government may consider concessioning most of the stadia to private sector as a way of ensuring proper maintenance in line with international standards.
Dare’s explanation came amidst criticism of poor maintenance of most stadia, in spite of huge cost that went into their construction.
“Government is serious about renovating sports facilities in the country, especially the dilapidated federal stadia across the country, but to maintain any of the public stadiums scattered across the country, it will cost nothing less than N1.2billion,” he noted.
He revealed that preparations for year 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan has begun, noting that there are plans to send most of the coaches to countries with better facilities as a way of enhancing their technical competence.
His words, “Morocco outing will serve as a benchmark for the 2020 Olympics preparation. Team Nigeria finished second at Rabat, Morocco behind Egypt at the just concluded African Games. Nigeria won a total of 121 medals: 46 gold, 33 silvers and 47 bronze.
“North African country, Egypt emerged top on the medal table with 99 gold medals, 96 silver and 69 bronze to bring their total medals to 264. South Africa came third with a total of 87 medals.
“Team Nigeria has only seven weeks to prepare, if they had a longer period to prepare they would have done better.
“So there is a lesson learnt from there, the athletes will leave for the Doha outing on Saturday, the outcome will determine Nigeria’s performance in the 2020 June Olympics”.