By Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
The House of Representatives yesterday decried the collapse of infrastructure at the National Stadium, Lagos and mandated its Committee on Sports, when constituted to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Sports and the National Sports Commission to devise a scheme for the renovation of the stadium.
The House also urged the Federal Government, the Federal Ministry of Sports and the National Sports Commission to ensure that the funds for the renovation of the stadium is incorporated in the 2016 budget proposal.
In a resolution on the motion titled ‘Urgent need for the renovation of the National Stadium, Lagos’ sponsored by the member representing Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency, Lagos State, Hon. Oghene Emma Egoh, the House further mandated the Committee on Sports to ensure compliance of the resolution and report back to the House within four weeks for further legislative input.
Hon. Egor in the motion noted that the National Stadium was built in 1973 at an enormous cost to the Federal Government essentially for the hosting of the All African Games and that for many years, the stadium became the bedrock of sports activities in Nigeria.
He said the stadium that has 60,000 sitting capacity and is situated in the heart of Lagos state is among the biggest stadia in Nigeria and had the unique privilege of having also hosted the 1980 African Cup of Nations competition.
The lawmaker expressed concern that the stadium has suffered more than a decade of abandonment as the last major competition held there was the African Cup of Nations which was co-hosted by Nigeria and Ghana in 2000.
He said the abandonment of the stadium has led to collapse of structures, decay of facilities and consequent taking over of the complex by undesirable characters who have turned it into a cesspit and venue for criminal activities.