ICYMI: Lagos to take over National Stadium
A few months after the Federal government handed over the State House,Marina to the Lagos State Government another national monument is just a signature away from becoming a Lagos State responsibility as officials of the state sports commission have confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari has given a verbal approval for the release of the National Stadium, Surulere, to the Lagos State Government for retrofitting and upgrading to host international sporting tournaments.
Although formalities for a formal handover have not been finalised but when it is done the transfer will be a permanent deal rather than the concession agreement that was proposed earlier.
We were also made to understand that the State Government has given approval for comprehensive renovation of Campos Mini Stadium in Lagos Island, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere; Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Rowe Park, Yaba; Isheri Football Field/Swimming Pool, and Ijede Mini Stadium, Ikorodu.
Teslim Balogun Stadium and Campos Mini Stadium would have their artificial turf replaced with natural grass, while the remaining seats of Agege Stadium would be covered in addition to the upgrade already done in preparation of the facility for Confederation of African Football (CAF) matches.
The State Government some months ago awarded contracts for the transformation of Onikan Stadium to an all-covered ultra-modern international stadium with FIFA certified artificial turf and multipurpose arena for entertainment concerts with capacity to accommodate 10,000 people, while preliminary works had already commenced on the construction of Maracana Stadium in Ajegunle.
Also, residents of Mushin, Alimosho and Ajegunle will have the pleasure of watching the 2018 FIFA World Cup free of charge at three viewing centres to be set up at designated points in these areas.
Dr Kweku Tandoh who is the Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission also confirmed that the commission has gotten approval for the employment of full-time coaches as well as contract coaches, while training grants were paid to 300 state athletes in individual sports, combat sports, team sports, racket sports, traditional sports, para sports and deaf sports.
He hinted that the grassroots football tournament-Lagos Street Soccer Championship will be revived as talks are ongoing to activate it among other local soccer championship.
Besides, he said as part of efforts to reposition the Commission, a four-year strategic sports development plan had already been approved for development within 16 weeks in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited, adding that the plan would engender development of a strategy plan, staff capability assessment and performance management framework development.