It is now safe to say that top-flight sporting activities will return to Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal capital.
This is because the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development formally received the rehabilitated Moshood Abiola Stadium pitch and Digital Score-boards from the Dangote Industries Group (DIG).
The conglomerate revived it after years of neglect under the “Adopt-a-pitch” initiative of the Honourable Minister, Sunday Dare.
The Corporate Communications of Dangote Group, Alh.
Mansur Ahmed, stated that the formal hand-over of the rehabilitated pitch is a testimony of the commitment of the company to sports development and supporting Football – a foremost sports, Nigerians are passionate about.
“As we all know, Nigerian players are international but until now, we don’t have an international standard facility and our commitment is to work with the Ministry to make sure that this particular facility remains of international standard.
We are therefore happy to contribute by this renovation, and by the arrangement to maintain it for the next two years“, Ahmed added.
The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Ismaila Abubakar lauded the Dangote Group for believing in the vision of the Minister and the Ministry, and exemplifying a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) that works.
He restated the commitment of the Ministry to ensure that the new facility is put to productive use and properly maintained.
Special Adviser to the President on Sports, a former Nigerian International, Daniel Amokachi showered encomiums on the Minister for his foresight in thinking out of the box to fix the dilapidated pitch.
He charged the Dangote Group to consider extending the period of maintenance beyond 2 years, stating that after expending $1m to renovate the facility, long-term maintenance is paramount.
The renovated pitch, aside from the new Digital Score-boards, has a nursery being cultivated to produce fresh grass to replace withered ones when necessary, and sprinklers to keep the grass lush green all year round.
Only a few months ago, the President of the World Soccer Governing Body, FIFA, Gianni Infantino, while on a visit to the Stadium, commended the quality of the new pitch and promised to facilitate the hosting of international matches on it.
Mazino Dickson/Sports Ministry Press Unit
Dangote group hands-over MKO Abiola stadium to FG