By Albert Akota
The Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr. Tammy Danagogo yesterday inaugurated the Project Steering Committee and the Project Delivery Team for the concession of the National stadium, Lagos and the Athletes hostel, Abuja.
Inaugurating the Committee, the minister charged members to ensure transparency in the discharge of their duty saying that they should reciprocate the confidence reposed on them because they were chosen based on their track records.
Giving a brief history on the facilities to be concession, the Director General of the Commission Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye revealed that the decision to concession the National Stadium, Lagos is predicated on the difficulty which aroused from maintaining the stadium after the introduction of the Envelop Budgeting which pegged the Capital expenditure of the Commission to an average of one Billion Naira per annum for all the six stadia and other Sports facilities.
According to him, prior to this time several attempts were made in the past at privatizing and concession to no avail until January this year when President Goodluck Jonathan finally gave the go ahead and granted the approval to the NSC to concession the stadium.
The Lagos National Stadium was constructed in 1972 for the hosting of the Second All Africa Games in 1973. The Stadium has since hosted major World, Continental and National events including the FIFA Junior World Championship in 1999.
In the case of the Athletes hostel, approval had earlier been secured to convert the facility from hostel to a four (4) star hotel but work was however put on hold on the facility due to paucity of funds.
The construction work of the hostel project commenced in 2005 with a 200 room accommodation capacity, presently, work at the hostel has reached a 65 per cent completion level.
The NSC obtained the President’s approval to concession the project in July, 2013.