Lagos State Government said that President Muhammadu Buhari has verbally approved the transfer of National Stadium in Surulere to it for subsequent upgrade.
Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission, Dr. Kweku Tandoh who disclosed this Tuesday, at the 2018 ministerial press briefing in commemoration of the state Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode’s third year in office, held in Alausa, Ikeja, stressed that the iconic facility would boost sports development in Nigeria. While giving the update on the proposed handing over of National Stadium, Tandoh stated that Buhari approved handing over of the project during his recent visit to Lagos Sate two months ago. He said, “You will recall that Lagos signified interest to take over and develop the facility.
After making our intention known, several issues sprung up and it showed that they did not want to release the facility to Lagos State. While we wanted to take it over, they wanted a concession, that is, for us to spend our own money to upgrade the facility and Federal Government control the facility after that.
“But during the President’s visit to Lagos, the Governor at a dinner held for him, reminded him of the issue. And the President gave his verbal approval for the transfer. “I met with the Governor over the issue yesterday and he asked that I proceed to Abuja next week to present some documents that will facilitate the formal handing over to Lagos State Government. We are hoping that this time, the Federal Government will concede to our terms and condition,” he added
While explaining that the transfer of National Stadium to Lagos would boost sports development in the country, Tandoh stated that N3.6 billion had been earmarked for re-construction of Onikan Stadium in Lagos Island. The chairman explained that the stadium has been modelled along other modern international stadium, saying, “It will be a multipurpose arena where entertainment concerts that can occupy 10, 000 participants and other activities could be staged.”
Apparently, concerned by state of the economy ahead of 2018 World Cup holding next month, Tandoh stated that the state Governor had approved establishment of three viewing centres for 2018 Fédération Internationale de Football Association, FIFA, World cup in Russia. The three locations selected for the viewing centres, according to the chairman, were Ajegunle, Alimosho and Mushin Local Government.