We Were Billed “$213,000 Just to Cut Grass” at the National Stadium – Nigeria’s Sports Minister

Sunday Dare, Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development has disclosed the ministry was billed N81m ($213,000) to mow the grass and weed at the MKO Abiola Stadium, in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.

The Minister made this disclosure at a seminar organised by the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN).

Dare said the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) quoted the sum of N81m naira to the Ministry. The ministry, he said, is running on a lean purse and couldn’t accept such a huge quote, particularly considering the public outcry that will greet such move.

“We approached AEPB to come see what can be done to clear the grass and weed in the stadium and they told us it will cost us N81m.

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“If we tell Nigerians we used N81m which is not even available, there will be an outcry. The funds are not really there for us and that is why we are partnering with private investors to bring back the key components of our infrastructures,” he said.

The MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja is Nigeria’s biggest sporting edifice. It was commissioned in 2003 prior to the African Games tagged COJA. The stadium was reportedly built with N53bn and has an over 60,000 capacity mainbowl which is one of the biggest in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Various Nigerian national teams have been using the stadium but poor maintenance has been an issue, as the facility is struggling to live up to its early spectacle.

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