There are indications that the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, may be temporarily closed again. The Minister for Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, hinted as much after visiting the crumbling edifice on Friday.
Mr Dare was on the ground to have a first-hand assessment following Wednesday’s collapse of one of the floodlight masts at the stadium.
While the Minister expressed gratitude that there were no casualties from Wednesday’s incident, he reiterated the need for proactive measures to guarantee public safety.
In a Twitter thread, he wrote: Surulere Stadium: Friday at 7 a.m. I inspected the floodlight mast that broke in half & collapsed from the rainstorm last Wednesday.
“Thank God there was no casualty. I also inspected the 3 other light masts & the effects of age & weather elements were visible… clearly, they are also suspect after 51 years.
Surulere Stadium: Friday morning at 7am I inspected the floodlight mast that broke in half & collapsed from the rainstorm last wednesday.Thank God there was no casualty. I also inspected the 3 other light masts & the effects of age & weather elements were visible… @GbengaGOLD pic.twitter.com/ZaAOG1sjXB
— Sunday Dare (@SundayDareSD) April 21, 2023
“Based on my assessment, advice of experts and in the interest of public safety, the Ministry will announce shortly the temporary closure of the stadium and surrounding facilities for proper assessment &necessary action.
“The concession process towards fully privatizing the Surulere stadium which began last year will be expedited by the Federal Government through the ICRC towards a comprehensive rehabilitation and upgrade of the 51 years old edifice…
“We have decided to err on the side of caution, hence the decision to impose extensive restrictions around the stadium. We request the cooperation of anyone who this decision may inconvenience as we cannot (ascertain) the reality on the ground”
The National Stadium in Lagos officially opened in 1972 and has been an iconic symbol of Nigeria’s sporting achievements
The stadium has played host to many notable events since the 1973 All-Africa Games, including the 1980 and 2000 African Cup of Nations and the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship.
However, the stadium’s infrastructure and maintenance have been declining steadily, raising questions about its safety.
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