Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide has lamented the state of sports facilities in the territory saying the state of the facilities was unacceptable.
The Minister who paid an unscheduled visit to the Area 10 Sporting Complex of FCT gave a verbal query to the FCT Director of Sports, Mallam Musa Aminu on what the director presented as a track.
The Director had shown a gravel laden path to the Minister as the track for athletics but the visibly angry Minister told him off saying “this is not right, this is not track, you have to get international standard track”
She however gave reason as to why the facility has been in a near state of disrepair noting that the previous administration had proposed to privatise it by making it an hotel and leisure facility.
This she explained was responsible for why over the years no budgetary provision was made in respect of the facility.
But she said the present administration having realised the role of sports in human development has reversed the decision and has decided to upgrade the facility.
Her words: “By the time I come here next Saturday I want to see this place clean and green properly. Obviously I cannot be satisfied with this. But the reason for it is simple, the administration had made a decision previously; I’m aware of this because at that time I was a director on the board of AIC here in 2008. A decision was made for this facility to be privatised and to be given out to be redeveloped as a hotel and leisure centre and for some reasons that did not go ahead.
That is the reason money has not been budgeted and spent on this facility because it was going to be privatised. But clearly now, looking at the state of Nigerian sports and role that FCT needs to play as a territory in sports, we need this facility to remain as sport facility for the territory, for the ordinary people in the territory to develop our sports. This is going to be an important facility and we will be looking forward to upgrade it and manage it professionally. And we will be looking forward to have sports facility in every single Area Council so that we have in the city and the Area councils.
Not everything can be fixed in a week but we can clean and green; we can make sure that the lawns are well mowed; we can make sure that there is no litter, that the environment is sanitary. We can fix lights and toilets and just do basic maintenance. For almost a decade money has not been spent on this facility because it was slated for privatisation but we have reversed that policy now. As you can see this is an excellent facility; it has everything, football, track, squash, shooting range, boxing, wrestling, handball and others. If we want to develop this facility again it’s going to cost a lot of money but management is the main issue. We are going to upgrade it and we are going to find a way to manage it properly and professionally”.