By Goodluck Ikiebe
Nigeria - In continuation of his inspection tour of sporting facilities across the country, the Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Enoh, has inspected the facilities at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
He stated that the tour he is undertaking informs the commitment of the present administration towards the development of sports in the country.
Senator Enoh, who disclosed this while addresssing the media shortly after the inspection of the facilities on Thursday, explained that Sports is a peculiar sector that exerts so much passion in all Nigerians. This passion he added, led to the decision of President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to make the sector stand alone and also appointed him to pilot its affairs.
He explained further that the facility which was built in the 60’s, has been put to use functionally in previous competitions, including the 2nd All African Games in 1973. Thus, if resuscitated, it will provide opportunity for the athletes not only to develop themselves but also showcase their sporting talents, thereby competiting favourably with their counterparts globally through podium finishes.
The Minister restated the Federal Government's committment to the revitalization of the sporting facilities across the country in order to bring it back to its former glory, saying, "we will do all it takes to bring back the glory of the sporting facilities across the nation with a view to providing our athletes with an enabling environment to thrive in their various sporting endeavours".
Senator Enoh, who stated that the process of concessioning of the National Stadium, Surulere has gone far, added that if that is what it will take to restore the glory of the facility, he endorses it 100 percent.
He noted that President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration identifies with the private sector, especially those who collaborate and join hands with government in resuscitating the dilapidated sporting facilities.
Enoh therefore thanked private partners like Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Chief Kessington Adebutu for their contributions towards sports development in the country, adding that Nigeria appreciates their efforts and investments in uplifting some of the sporting facilities in the country.
Senator Enoh informed that both Chief Kessington Adebutu and Aliko Dangote collaborated with the Ministry in the resuscitation of some facilities at the National Stadium, Surulere as well as the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
The Minister therefore called on all relevant stakeholders, sports loving Nigerians, and the media in particular through positive reportage, to join hands with the Federal Government in ensuring a turn around of the sector, not only through infrastructure upgrade but grassroots Sports development for the socio-economic growth and development of the country.
Enoh, who was accompanied on the facility tour by the Ministry's Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, Director General, National Institute of Sports, Prof. Olawale Moronkola, some Directors of the Ministry as well as one time Football Legend, Daniel Amokachi, inspected the boxing complex, mainbowl of the stadium, sports medical centre, indoor Sports hall, Games Village hostels, Legacy Pitch, the National Institute of Sports, (NIS), Power House, as well as the Courts for different Sports.