In a bid to upgrade sporting facilities in the country as well as enhance the performances of the nation’s athletes for maximum podium appearances, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of N2.4bn for the construction of a new National Sports Medicine and High Performance Centre at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja
The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Sunday Dare made the disclosure yesterday while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting held at the Presidential Villa Abuja
He stated that the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development presented just one memo which has to do with the National Sports Medicine and the construction of a High-Performance Center at the Package B of the Moshood Abiola Stadium which was graciously considered and approved
According to him, “FEC approved the construction of the National Sports Medicine and High Performance Centre in Abuja to improve the overall performances of Nigerian athletes. The lack of such facilities had been one of the drawbacks of sports development and athletes performances in the country”.
Dare explained that Global sports development practice has High Performance Centre as a major component of conditioning its athletes. “It takes your athletes beyond just raw talent to some level of sports science and precision and the lack of that scientific input into our sports development over time has not helped us to reach the maximum podium performance that can be attained by our athletes.
“We have seen, particularly in Kenya and South Africa, where we have something close to that and what their performances are,” he said
The Minister stated further that unlike other projects in the past, the new High-Performance Centre has an in-built maintenance structure in its lifecycle design. “As we speak, more than 80% of the equipment that will be needed, some of them, digital equipment, are already secured and obtained at Moshood Abiola National Stadium. What we need is to construct the specialised building where we’re going to instal all of these.
“And if this is done, the number one High Performance Centre in the whole of the African Continent is the one in South Africa and if we’re able to complete the one in Abuja here, that will be the second one in Africa”
He inforned that the project is expected to be completed in three years time.
Dare stated further that because of President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration’s commitment to sports development, his Ministry has been able to fix the Main-Bowl of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja to the satisfaction of Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), insisting that a team from the continental football governing body has given two stadia in Nigeria all clear, to host CAF competitions.
“To put it on record, CAF has approved two stadia in Nigeria, the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja and Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State to host CAF events. We have also fixed the National Stadium Surulere, Lagos and people are using the facilities except the 50-year Main-Bowl ”, Dare explained.
“As I leave office at the end of this Administration, I want to ensure that sports thrives under the incoming sports Minister with the approval of the facility” Dare added