After years of suffering gradual deterioration and neglect, the Federal Government has given its nod to the concession of the iconic National Stadium, Lagos.
A statement from the office of the Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi, said President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the concession of the facility. Built in 1972, the stadium has a capacity of 55, 000, and was the venue of both Nigeria’s greatest continental triumph, a first-ever Nations Cup title in 1980, and worst heartbreak, a penalty shoot-out loss in 2000 against Cameroon. But since 2004, when it hosted the LG Cup, the stadium has suffered dilapidation.
“With the approval, the Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, will constitute the Project Steering Committee and the Project Delivery Committee, which will liaise with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC to draw up modalities for the concession,” Julius Ogunro, Special Assistant to the Minister, said in the statement.
In September 2012, the Federal Executive Council set up a committee to look into the mode of maintenance of federal stadia and to develop a sustainable funding framework for sports in general.
That committee in turn set up a Technical Sub-Committee, which would in collaboration with the Bureau of Public and Enterprises (BPE) and Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) recommend the most viable option for the maintenance of the six federal stadia.
The Technical Sub-Committee recommended the involvement of private sector participation in the management and operations of the stadia with concession as the preferred and most sustainable approach.