The Federal Government has expressed its determination to ensure that the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja commences hosting of Grade A matches soon, despite non-certification of the pitch by CAF and FIFA, preventing Grade A matches from being played at the stadium.
The Honourable Minister of Sports Development Senator John Owan Enoh disclosed this during the handing over ceremony of the rehabilitated pitch and scoreboards at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, by Dangote Group and Aron Nigeria Ltd on Tuesday.
Senator Owan Enoh stated that the present administration is determined to reverse this tide, emphasizing that the Ministry under his leadership would work diligently to ensure the pitch meets international standards in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led Administration.
While stressing the importance of the national stadium in hosting Grade A matches, especially for the various National Teams of Nigeria, the Minister commended the companies over the completion of their two years post maintenance rehabilitation and called for increased collaboration between the government and the private sector to further advance sports development in Nigeria.
The rehabilitation of the National Stadium facilities by Dangote Group and Aron Nigeria Ltd, he added, represents a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to enhance sports infrastructure in the country.
Senator Owan Enoh applauded the commitment and resources invested by Dangote Group, describing their involvement as a shining example of the positive outcomes achievable through collaborative efforts between the government and the private sector.
“As a country, we are indebted to Dangote Group for the huge resources it committed to the rehabilitation of the National Stadium. I look forward to more collaborative efforts between the government and the private sector to develop sports in our country,” Senator Owan Enoh stated.
The Minister urged the private sector to display greater interest and commitment to investing in sports. He emphasized the pivotal role sports play in shaping the destinies of millions of Nigerian Youth.
The Minister noted that sports, beyond its recreational value, has become a significant business, and that the Ministry of Sports Development was ready to engage in fruitful partnerships with the private sector to harness this potential through the deployment and full implementation of the National Sports Industry Policy (NSIP) endorsed by the present administration.
He laid down a marker for the continued maintenance of the National Stadium beyond the handover, pledging that the Ministry of Sports Development would ensure the facilities remain in perfect condition.
Senator Owan Enoh reiterated the Ministry’s dedication to fostering a robust partnership between the government and the private sector, ensuring the continued growth and success of sports development in Nigeria.
Earlier in his remarks, the Permanent Secretary overseeing the Ministries of Sports and Youth Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, applauded the partnership between the government and the private sector that led to the successful handover.
He commended Dangote Group for its substantial rehabilitation efforts as part of its corporate social responsibility and called on other stakeholders to invest significantly in sports development in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the representative of contractors, Aron Nigeria Ltd, Soji Adeniyi, expressed satisfaction with the successful execution of the project.
He commended Dangote Group for its sponsorship and timely payments as well as the cooperation of the Ministry’s facility managers in completing the project.