The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, on Tuesday in Abuja, said arrangements had been concluded to engage private sector in the management of Abuja and Lagos national stadia.
The minister, who made this known while fielding questions from State House correspondents, said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the concession of the stadia in 2012.
He said that the concession of the facilities had become necessary in view of the fact that government could not sustain their maintenance, in addition to the fact that the Abuja stadium was being under utilised.
He added that “I agree that there is under utilisation of sports facilities in Abuja. That has taken us to the issue of concession.The minister explained that the Federal Government had appointed consultants for the concession arrangements of the facilities.
“The facilities cannot be managed effectively by government, looking at the budgetary allocation for even the maintenance.
“Government cannot maintain those facilities. So what we intend to do is to proceed with the concession process which we met on ground. FEC in 2012 had approved concession of Abuja and Lagos stadia.’’
According to him, the ministry is at the stage of getting the approval of Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE).
He said, “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.”He further disclosed that the ministry had received the design on the proposed transformation of the Abuja and Lagos stadia.
Dalung said that the proposal included the creation of artificial lake in the Abuja stadium that would provide for 12 water sports and the building of a five-star hotel in Abuja.
He said that similar five-star hotel would be constructed at the national stadium in Lagos.
The minister added that “once these two edifices are put into proper shape, sports in Nigerian will receive a boost and our economic status will be uplifted because we will begin to see more foreign athletes coming in.’’