Muhammad Musa Bello
By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA: The Federal Capital Territory FCT Administration has said it will partner the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for the rehabilitation of the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja so that it can be utilized to its fullest potentials and turned into a mini city.
Minister of the FCT, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello disclosed on Thursday when he received the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare in his office.
According to the FCT Minister, the stadium is a very important public monument in Abuja which he said has not served its full potential, noting that after the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, the stadium is the second most iconic public edifice in Abuja, noticeable immediately upon arrival into the city.
On working with the Sports Ministry to rehabilitate the stadium, Malam Bello said “ rehabilitating the stadium is going to be in our joint interest, not only as an Administration but as a people particularly now that it is very clear that moving abroad for holidays or for short trips that was the popular pastime of many in Nigeria, is not going to be as it used to be.
“As a matter of fact, in the last two and half months, flights have not flown out or come into this country. So, it is now that we will start to appreciate the beauty of what we have across the country. Each time I go to the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, I feel very delighted and proud that we have something like this in Nigeria”.
While offering the expertise of the relevant departments of the FCTA for the rehabilitation process, the FCT Minister said attention should be focused on vegetation control, waste evacuation and lighting.
According to him, the stadium is exceptionally beautiful when lit up at night, noting that if the rehabilitation works are done properly, the stadium could become a city within a city and be a major tourist destination within the country.
Earlier, Mr Dare said the Moshood Abiola Stadium was one of the four Federal Government stadia across the country and the Ministry is committed to ensuring that the iconic monument came back to life and full functionality for the benefit of the sporting community and the entire country.
“The stadium as it is, is not just for sports men and women alone. It is built in such a comprehensive way that it is a city within a city with a 5,000 capacity parking lot, a 64,000 capacity sitting arena, 54 executive suites furnished, all locked up that can be rented and given out; about nine different football practice pitches, Olympic sized swimming pool and eight massive generators. We have a stream that runs across it and a massive expanse of land to build a five-star hotel. We want to turn it into a piece of real estate and a sporting facility that will be the pride of this country and the pride of Africa and we think that the FCT will be a worthy partner”.