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Sports Minister, Dare: ‘Sports Industry Policy Will Secure Nigeria’s Sporting Infrastructures’ 

Sports Minister, Dare: ‘Sports Industry Policy Will Secure Nigeria’s Sporting Infrastructures’ 

Sunday Dare, Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development, says the reclassification of sports from recreation to business as contained in the Sports Industry Policy will ensure that  Nigeria’s sporting infrastructures will never suffer any neglect again.

“With the incentives that have been approved by the Federal Executive Council kicking in Shortly, we will be able to leverage on private sector financing of the stadium and other infrastructures,” Dare said.
The Sports Minister said this at the weekend after inspecting renovation works at the National Stadium Surulere, Lagos.
The standard number of years for a stadium before major renovations is 30 years. Surulere National Stadium is 51 years old and has been left unmaintained for the last 18 years with most of the critical infrastructures either stolen or in a state of disrepair.
The Minister chose the road avoided by previous Ministers by making the bold move to rehabilitate Nigeria’s major sporting infrastructures.
“A lot of people supported me in starting the journey to renovating the National Stadium in Lagos, Abuja and Ibadan. Yes, it was a bold move in the face of dwindling government revenue and we had to think of an alternative way of starting it,” Dare stated.
“I can understand why the place has been abandoned for years. The cost of renovating stadiums all over the world is enormous. The Santiago Bernabue Stadium in Madrid is estimated to cost $700m US dollars while a 15,000-capacity Maldives Stadium will cost $25m. The estimate we got for National Stadium in Lagos is $41m which is about 21 billion naira.
“We wanted 10 sponsors to take up different sections of the stadium but only Chief Kessigton Adebutu hearkened to our call.”
Meanwhile, Dare says his biggest achievement in sports is not in the rehabilitation of the stadia.
He said: “The reclassification of Sports as business and the enactment of the Sports Industry Policy will be a major achievement under me as Sports Minister.”
The adoption initiative which he started when he was appointed Sports Minister in 2019 has yielded immeasurable dividends.
Dare says with the reclassification of sports as business backed by the Sports Industry Policy, Nigeria’s sporting infrastructures will be maintained for the greater good of all Nigerians, especially the youths.
Dare also revealed that he has not just stopped at the reclassification and the enactment of the Sports Industry Policy.
He added:” We have also looked at other means of getting the infrastructures fixed and have approached the Nigerian Sovereign Wea..NSIA. We have almost concluded on this and it will be presented to the council soon.”
Dare hopes history will remember him as a sports minister who took the bull by the horn to challenge these elephants in the rooms.
“I want to say a special thank you to Alhaji Aliko Dangote who came in for us and the youths of Nigeria by fixing the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja,” the Youth and Sports Minister added.
“Julius Berger who constructed the stadium submitted a bill of N1.2b yearly as maintenance cost. That amount will be close to N5b in 2023.
“I also want to thank Chief Adebutu for his efforts which have seen 80% of the main bowl pitch and tartan tracks done. The digital scoreboard is fully functional now.
“Baba ijebu has released about 420 million naira so far as CSR and it is commendable.
“The journey has started and the National Stadium in Lagos will be restored to its original design if we get the funds needed.”

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