One of Nigeria’s iconic sporting facilities the National Stadium in Surulere Lagos is finally returning to its glory days with the completion of rehabilitation work on its decayed facilities.
The Lagos stadium has been abandoned for so many years before the immediate past Minister for Youth and Sports Sunday Dare took it upon himself to ensure the revival of the edifice that was once Nigeria’s home of Sporting Glory.
Months after leaving office, Dare can be proud after ensuring that the job he started when he was at the helms has now been completed.
The National Stadium Surelere can now boast of a world class football pitch and tracks with a functional scoreboard.
The level of damage of the Lagos stadium was so huge that previous Sports Ministers only made promises but was never able to do anything to give the facilities a facelift.
But Dare’s Adopt-a-Facility initiative was a public private model which was able to deliver some critical sporting infrastructure across the country.
In the case of National Stadium Surulere, Dare was able to parent with Sir Adebutu Keshington, the founder of Premier Lotto to renovate 3 critical components of the Surulere stadium in Lagos.
The success of a similar partnership was achieved with the Dangote Group under Dare and it delivered critical renovations at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja.
When some negative stories were reported in the media in April about the Lagos Stadium, Dare maintained that work might be slow but it will completed as promised.
In 2019, Dare embarked on an inspection tour of the Lagos stadium alongside the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu and gave his assurances to revamp the stadium and today he has put to action those promises.
Built in 1961, the stadium hosted the 1963 All Africa Games and in 1980 Nigeria lifted their first Africa Cup of Nations title at the same stadium.
2004 was the last time the stadium hosted a football tournament but with the latest rehabilitation, sports fans can now look forward to a return of sporting activities in Surelere.