The Federal Government on Friday received the rehabilitated football pitch of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, as well as new digital scoreboards from the Dangote Group of Companies.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, while receiving the rehabilitated football pitch and the scoreboards, stated that the move was an offshoot of the Federal Government’s Adopt-a-Pitch Initiative which aims at using private collaborations to enhance the development of sportsmen in the country.
Mr Dare, who restated the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration to the development of youth and sports in Nigeria, assured that the Ministry will continue to use its Public-Private Partnership (PPP) initiative to woo private interests in the rehabilitation and renovation of all the National Stadia in the country.
According to him, the provision of sports facilities is critical to the development of sports, as such, the “government will continue to provide enabling environment for more partnerships with a view to giving sports its pride of place in the country.”
The Minister commended the Dangote Group of Companies for the provision of the latest grass technology in the world – pure dynasty paspalum, (same as the one being used for Qatar, 2022) as well as the latest digital scoreboards for the Moshood Abiola Stadium. He further commended the contractors, Aron Nigeria Limited, for their resilience in ensuring the realization of the task after the 2year slow-down owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He called on them to ensure the realization of the 2-year maintenance stipulated in the contract terms, stating further that, “our expectation is that, our national teams will play at the National Stadium. Our national teams need home advantage,” he said.
The Minister then expressed optimism that soon, the National Stadium, Lagos, will come on stream so as to provide the players with the opportunity of alternating between the Lagos and Abuja stadia for their matches. He explained that the maintenance of the facility will be a pride to the nation and millions of football-loving Nigerians.
Our team, he said, “will play here, score goals and win and football will continue to promote unity and love in Nigeria,” the Minister added.
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Ismaila Abubakar, stated that the rehabilitation work being handed over to the Ministry today is a testament of the commitment of the present administration to sports and youth development in the country.
He called on all sports-loving Nigerians and philanthropists in particular, to continue to partner with the Government towards ensuring the development of our teeming youths through sports so as to bring about socio-economic growth and development of the country.
The Executive Director, Stakeholder Management and Corporate Communications, Dangote Group of Companies, Mansur Ahmed, stated that his company is committed to lifting the Moshood Abiola National Stadium to an international standard because of the tremendous impact sports has had on the stability and unity of the country.
He said that Dangote Group of Companies has today handed over the rehabilitated Football Pitch and Digital Score Boards of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium to the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development with a view to boosting Sports development in Nigeria.
In his speech, the Executive Director, Projects, Aron Nigeria Limited, Soji Adeniji, explained that his company will maintain the pitch and scoreboards for two years.
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