Minister for Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has said that the government can no longer maintain sports facilities in the country because of paucity of funds.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday , Dalung said the government was resolute in its decision to concession the facilities to private operators.
He said “I agree that there is under utilisation of sports facilities in Abuja. That has taken us to the issue of concession. The facilities can’t be managed effectively by government looking at the budgetary allocation for even the maintenance.
“Government can’t maintain those things. So what we intend to do is to proceed with the concession process which o met on ground.
“FEC in 2012 had approved concession of Abuja and Lagos stadiums. We have proceeded with it and even appointed consultants. We are at the stage of getting the approval of BPE. From there we can now proceed to call for bids and engage the private sector so that we can run the concession arrangement with them so that they can come in.
He added that “We have also received the drawing on the proposed transformation of the place which will include the creation of artificial lake in the Abuja stadium that will provide for 12 water sports; then the building of a five-star hotel here in Abuja.
“Lagos will have the same thing. The adjourning land will have a park with a five-start hotel.
“The moment you put these two, the economic status of the stadium will be uplifted and you will have foreign athletes coming in because there will be facilities.
That’s the best way we can maximise stadium in Abuja in view of how it was located.”