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Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, ‎has said the 60,000-capacity ultra-modern Abuja National Stadium was wrongly located, hence it is not economically viable.
This is even as he has said that the federal government was planning to concession the stadium built in 2005 at the cost of N38 billion by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, saying the budgetary allocation to the ministry cannot fund it’s maintenance.
The stadium was built to host the 8th All Africa Games in October 2005.
Speaking to State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Dalung agreed that the stadium has been under utilised.
He said, “I agree that there is under utilisation of sports facilities in Abuja. That has taken us to the issue of concession. The facilities can’t be managed effectively by government looking at the budgetary allocation for even the maintenance.

“Government cannot maintain those things. So what we intend to do is to proceed with the concession process which we met on ground.

“The Federal Executive Council (FEC) in 2012 had approved concession of Abuja and Lagos stadiums. We have proceeded with it and even appointed consultants. We are at the stage of getting the approval of Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE), from there we can now proceed to call for bids and engage the private sector so that we can run the concession arrangement with them so that they can come in.

“We have also received the drawing on the proposed ‎transformation of the place which will include the creation of artificial lake in the Abuja Stadium that will provide for 12 water sports; then the building of a five-star hotel here in Abuja. Lagos will have the same thing. The adjourning land will have a park emerge from there with a five-star hotel.

“The moment you put these two, the economic status of the stadium will be uplifted and you will have ‎foreign athletes coming in because there will be facilities. That’s the best way we can maximise stadium in Abuja in view of how it was located”

 

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