The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has commended the state of facilities at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, while stating commitment to make the facilities of global standard.
Speaking on Tuesday when he visited Kaduna to assess the facilities at Ahmadu Bello Stadium and Murtala Mohammed Sports Square in preparation for the hosting of 2020 FIFA U-20 Women World Cup in Nigeria, Sunday said the facilities have stood the test of time after 54 years.
The minister said he would work assiduously on the upgrading, management and maintenance of the sporting facilities across the country with particular attention on ABS, National Stadium Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan, Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu to bring them back to global standard using public private partnership initiative.
According to the minister, who did the inspection under rainfall, “I’m here to look at the facilities, the main bowl pitch, the dressing rooms, training pitches, the gymnasium, the press tribune, the media center because of the U-20 FIFA World Cup next year. I have the athletics tracks which is of international standard.
“Our focus is on the upgrade, management and maintenance of the facilities. We are working on a business model that would be enticing to investors and facility managers. Our approach will be public private partnership venture.”
The minister, who said he had a discussion with Governor Nasir el-Rufai, where the Governor laid bare his plans for grassroots sports development and support in the maintenance of Ahmadu Bello Stadium, stated his plans to run an all inclusive participation with the media.
“We will be meeting with the sports commissioners of all the states, sports federations and the sports ambassadors for their input on how best to achieve sports development in the country. We will remind the federations of their responsibilities. We will not reinvent it all, we are going to look at what worked and what has not. We will be bold in taking initiatives to turn sports around.”