Nigeria has announced plans to renovate the Main Bowl of the MKO Abiola national stadium in Abuja. While making the revelations, the minister of youths and sports development, Mr Sunday Dare said that the repair works will be funded by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.
Dare said the renovation would include the upgrade of the football pitch, light and scoreboard at the stadium. According to him, work would begin in the next two weeks. “Yes, Abuja National Stadium is coming back up, already we have gotten Dangote, I can say that he has agreed to bring back the Abuja football pitch, the light and scoreboard,” he said.
The Minister explained that during the repair works, they will adopt the same pitch model as the other three big stadia in the country. “We are looking at between now and March next year, we should have four big stadia, football pitches, all having met FIFA standard,” Dare said.
Mr Dare was optimistic that given time, within a year, the country will be in a position to comfortably host any FIFA soccer tournaments. It would be recalled that a 60,000 capacity stadium was built in 2003 during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration and over the years, the national edifice began to waste away.
The last major sporting event held at the stadium was the National Sports Festival held last year December while the last competitive football game was on April 12, 2016 which was the 2nd leg of the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifier between the Super Falcons of Nigeria and Senegal.