The Lagos State government southwest Nigeria has restated its commitment towards providing World Class Sporting facilities with view to repositioning and upgrading the existing ones.
The Executive Chairman of Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr. Kweku Tandoh gave the assurance while briefing the journalists on the activities of the Commission in the last one year at the State Press Center, Alausa, Ikeja.
Mr Tandoh explained that the state is investing massively in the sports as a means of living and to ensure that it serves as a tool for social, economic and tourism development of the state.
The Chairman noted that there has been an approval of the comprehensive renovation and rehabilitation of some stadia in the state.
These according to him include the Camps Mini Stadium, Lagos Island, the Teslim Stadium, Surulere, Mobolaji sports centre Rowe Park, Yaba.
Others are, the Isheri Football Field and Swimming Pool and Ijede Mini Stadium, Ijede, Ikorodu.
Work is expected to commence at these five sports facilities anytime from now. This will mark the biggest investment on renovation and upgrading of our sports facilities by the state government since 2012, he said
On the current reconstruction of the Onikan Stadium which was awarded last year by the government, Mr Tandoh gave the assurance that it would be delivered as at when due as contractors are working assiduously to beat the deadline.
The Contract for the reconstruction of Onikan Stadium was awarded in October, 2017 at a Contract sum of N3.6billion. The stadium when completed would be an all covered Ultra-Modern international stadium with FIFA certified artificial turf.
The stadium will be a multipurpose arena where entertainment concerts and other activities would be staged. This will be first of its kind in Lagos, Chairman added
He said that the state had embarked on re-modelling and modification of the Agege stadium to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) standard and the stadium is now a venue for CAF matches.
The Chairman sports Commission also stressed that the state has approved the appointment of 40 contracts coaches for 33 sports who are expected to support the Staff coaches to do more in terms of talent identification and development of all sports.
FIFA World Cup
Tandoh says the state will be establishing three viewing centres in Mushin, Ajegunle and Alimosho areas of the state for the duration of the FIFA World Cup next month while preliminary works had already commenced on the construction of Maracana Stadium in Ajegunle.
On the request by the State Government to the Federal Government to release the National Stadium, Surulere, Tandoh said the process for retrofitting and upgrading of the facility to host international sporting tournaments was ongoing.
You would recall that the Lagos State Government signified interest in taking over completely the National Stadium and the Governor did not just say it, he actually met with the Minister of Sports and a tour of the facility was carried out.
One thing later developed and there were signs and signals that the Governor received that they were not actually ready to hand over the Stadium to us rather it seems as if they just wanted a concession agreement where the State Government would spend the money, get it fixed while the Federal Government would still be in place but that is not what Lagos State Government wants.
So, during the visit of the President to Lagos State few weeks ago, the Governor at the State Dinner was able to grouch the intention again and he mentioned it in his speech to the President and the President verbally gave approval that that was going to be in place. Just yesterday, the Governor directed that I proceed to Abuja next week to deliver some communications that are necessary to put in place a formal handover of the National Stadium to Lagos State Government. We are grateful that this time they will give it to us on the terms that the Lagos State Government has requested for,Tandoh said.
He said it was also significant to report that the State Government has concluded plans to establish three viewing centres across the State for fans to watch world cup matches free of charge.
Just yesterday, Governor Ambode approved that we should establish three viewing centres in Mushin, Alimosho and Ajegunle. The centres will be in place for the duration of world cup and will serve as venues where people in those areas can watch world cup matches free of charge, Tandoh said.
On the street soccer championship, Tandoh said the sponsor of the tournament initially pulled out of the sponsorship due to financial constraint, but that talks have been activated to reintroduce the competition, among other local soccer championships.
Besides, he said as part of efforts to reposition the Commission, a four-year strategic sports development plan had already been approved for development within 16 weeks in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited, adding that the plan would engender development of a strategy plan, staff capability assessment and performance management framework development.
Source: Voice of Nigeria