By Salifu Usman, Abuja
Despite the handing over the renovation of MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja to Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the ministry of Youth and Sports Development has set aside N305 million for the general maintenance of the stadium in its 2021 budget.
This was contained in the 2021 federal government’s budget estimate presented to the National Assembly for consideration by President Muhammadu Buhari last week.
Dangote accepted to renovate the facility as part of the ‘Adoption Policy’ of the ministry through his firm, Dangote Group at the cost of $1 million and the renovation work has since commenced.
But the sports ministry currently under the leadership of Sunday Dare, earmarked N250 million as capital project for maintenance of the Stadium, while N55million was set aside for the supply of diesel to power the stadium.
Further analysis of the ministry’s 2021 Appropriation before both chambers of the National Assembly, revealed that intensive capacity development for drug testing officers/specialised training for key operational staff in ‘Anti-Doping Administration Management System (ADAMS); capacity development for athletes, coaches and technical officers; as well as Anti-Doping surveillance and intelligence gathering will gulp a total of N117million.
The budget breakdown also revealed the ministry planned to spend N165million on capacity building for various cadre of staff and verification exercise, N26.9million for procurement of drug testing kits for doping control officials and N160million for procurement of sports equipment for National Paralympic Games and National Elite Games in 2021. This is aside N250million budgeted for the procurement of sports equipment for High Altitude Training Centre in Pankshin and Gembu in Plateau and Taraba states respectively and the construction of Mini Sports Centre in Karu, Abuja.
The 2021 Appropriation document revealed that while the ministry will expend another N163.26 million to complete the upgrading of Rasaq Balogun Playfield to mini stadium and SLR Youth Development Centre in Lagos respectively, procurement of sports kits to selected schools in Kano, Gombe and Zamfara will also gulp a total of N130million.
This is aside the N150million budgeted in this year (2020) fiscal budget by the ministry to upgrade the same Rasaq Balogun Playfield to a mini stadium.