…undertakes inspection tour of facility
Ben Peters, Abuja
The Minister of Sports, Senator John Enoh has decided to operate from the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, instead of the Federal Secretariat.
The Minister disclosed this when he undertook an inspection tour of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Wednesday, to assess the state of facilities in the edifice.
The Senator said when he assumed office, the first place they took him to was the national stadium hence he has no choice but to operate from there instead of the Federal Secretariat where the past ministers operated from.
“When I was asked where I will operate from, I said it is the national stadium. I don’t have any business going to the federal secretariat. I have directed the permanent secretary that every other department of sports should relocate to the stadium.
“The permanent secretary is already working to allocate offices to jose departments that are not here. This ministry is a ministry, I need to be where the action is, where the athletes are, where football is taking place, even for coordination purpose. Most of the departments are already here, so there is no point going to stay at the federal secretariat,” he noted.
It will be recalled that past ministers operated from the federal secretariat hence allowing the facilities at the stadium to rot especially the generators. Also the stadium were taken over by reptiles because of the abandonment and refusal to cut the grasses.
The minister, alongside the ministry’s permanent secretary, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar were led by Director of Facilities and Stadia Management at the Federal Ministry of Sports Development, Engr. Alanamu Abolore, as he inspected all packages of the stadium.
Enoh visited the Mainbowl of the stadium, the Velodrome, facility building, athletes’ hostel, Federation and Elite Athletes Department (FEAD), Power Technical Building, as well as other facilities in the edifice.
“we embarked on this tour because whatever one wants to do, we have to do it from a standpoint of knowledge, and that is what I am doing. Yesterday (Tuesday) was my first day at work and I had the opportunity to take reports and briefings from all the departments, after which I left the office at about 10pm. We are trying to be as systematic as we can, with the process”
“Facilities and infrastructures are a key component of sports, as they are variables that drive both elite performance and grassroots development,” Enoh added.
“It is therefore very important that we get it right. We must maintain the current infrastructures that we have, and look towards making them better, to match what we have across the world.”
The minister stated that the Moshood Abiola National Stadium has the capacity to become one of the best multi-purpose stadium complexes in Africa, as he promised to give required attention to infrastructural development.
“Amidst the so much that I have seen here, the positives and the negatives, this stadium is a very definitive national monument. There is about nothing that you will find elsewhere, that you cannot find here,” he said. “However from 2003 till date, the facility has gone through a lot. The ministry under my leadership will do all that it can, to get every part of the stadium functional, including the athletes hostel, because athletes must have the best, to be the best”
John Enoh also added that he will visit other facilities across the country, to assess their state and take definitive actions on their development.
Visits Referee Assessors’ Training
During his tour, the Honourable Minister visited the training camp of Referee assessors, who are in Abuja for a development programme. Speaking at the visit, the Minister encouraged referees to constantly update themselves with the new knowledge of the game, and make positive impacts on the domestic leagues in Nigeria.
“Over the years, referees in Nigeria have been heavily criticized over their performances in our leagues but I want to trust that we will build on the recent successes achieved and win the confidence of our people”
John Enoh added that “Referees are critical stakeholders of the game, and we need them to be at their best at all times, for the growth of our football.
The minister was received by the chairperson of the referees committee, Faith Irabor, who thanked him for his prompt visit.