By Jacob Ajom
If the mood of the Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Engineer Sani Ndanusa, was anything to go by, then facilities at the National Stadium, Lagos, would soon wear a new look.
The minister who flew into Lagos Monday for a first hand inspection of the state of facilities at the National StadiumÂ complex looked sad after the inspection, particularly the state of the Olympic size swimming pool, the indoor sports hall, the boxing gym and the table tennis knock up hall.
Addressing the press after the tour, he wondered why the facilities had been in such a bad state and neglected despite governmentâ€™s huge investment in them.
The minister said this was a new era and promised to effect large-scale renovation on the dilapidated facilities within the first quarter of next year.
â€œWe are going to tackle the problem of facilities headlong and bring them back to shape within three months,â€ Engineer Ndanusa promised.
He said the jobs would be given to credible contractors who would carry them out according to specifications.
â€œWe are determined to bring these facilities back to international standard in order to make them easily available to our athletes,â€ the minister said.
Engineer Ndanusa expressed disgust at the seedy nature of the National Stadium Police post and said they would soon vacate the complex.
Similarly, the minister who was in company of the Director-General of the National Sports Commission,Â Patrick Ekeji, among other top functionaries of the commission told the press that the Games Village in Surulere would be leased out to private managers as the commission continues its pursuit of the private/public partnership programme.
It is believed that the Games Village which has served as camping site for athletes and offer accommodation to ministry officials since the 2nd All Africa Games in 1972 would be attractive to estate management firms.
Past ministers of sports had made similar visits and expressed similar disgust but ended up doing nothing before they were removed as ministers.