The upgrade and revamping of some sports facilities in the country will be the priority of the Ministry of Youth and Sports in the new year.
Sports Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung gave the hint while speaking on prospects of the ministry in 2019.
Dalung noted that Nigerian athletes will do better in the new year if facilities needed for training are upgraded.
“Infrastructural update should be cardinal in 2019. We must fix the National Stadium in Surulere Lagos. If we fix the place, you cannot imagine the number of young people that will be employed as a result and it will improve the economy of Lagos state.
“I have not given up on the renovation of the National Stadium because we are still running a concession process. We only have some budgetary constraints but we have included the final phase in the budget of 2019. Once the budget is passed, we will pick up again because for me, one of the things that I’m determined to do before I leave office is to ensure the conclusion of the concession of some of these projects so that we can move the private sector to invest and transform it,” Dalung said.
Barrister Dalung also stated that the Ministry is also set to prepare athletes ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Barrister Dalung said training will also take the front burner in 2019.
“Development of athletes, training and retraining of athletes in preparation for the 2020 Olympics is a priority in 2019. Competition for qualification by National Federations is also a priority in 2019,” he added.
The Sports Minister however disclosed that there will be a stakeholders’ meeting to herald the new year.
“There is going to be an all stakeholders’ meeting. We will invite speakers who will cite test cases of other climes and our local peculiarity to educate us on funding of sports.
“I also expect that this year, more states will adopt more sports based on their athletes’ comparative advantage,” the minister concluded.