Sunday Dare Lays Foundation For N492m Community Sports Centre In Ogbomoso

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    Barely two moths after he inaugurated the Alaafin Olayiwola Adeyeni III Mini Stadium in Oyo Town to engage youths in sporting and recreational activities and reduce social vices, Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare, on Friday laid foundation for a N492m Community Sport Centre at Ikoyi Ile, Oriire Local Government area of Ogbomoso, Oyo State.

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    According to the Minister while laying the foundation for the project, the expansive mini stadium which contains facilities including: tartan tracks, male and female hostels, ticketing boot/ gate house, grand stand, popular stand, public toilets, among other amenities, will be 60 per cent completed by the end of 2023.

    Flanked by some officials of the Sports Ministry including the Director of Procurement, Mr. Segun Oke, Director of Facility Development Mr. Abolore Alanamu, and Prince Bukola Ladigbolu (representative of the NUOVA ALBA Integrated Limited company handling the construction), the Minister said: “the sports complex which will follow the Alaafin Adeyemi III Mini Stadium inaugurated in October, has been budgeted for in 2023, and will start functioning partially as from April 2023 when the main pitch would have been ready for use.

    “We hope that in 2023, we can bring it up to 60 per cent completion. Once the football pitch is complete, people can start using it. People can start having access to any section of it. We won’t wait until everything is completed. That is the way we build sport complexes across the world. We hope that either by the end of next year or April 2024, it will be 100 per cent ready. But we hope that by mid next year, some sections of it will be ready for utilization”, he said.

    In attendance at the ground-breaking ceremony were some of the traditional rulers who led the community to donate the 16 acres of land for the complex to the Federal Government. They included: Oba Dr. Oyedola Sulaiman Osuolale (Alaroje of Ogbomosoland), Chief Mumini Yusuf Odebode (Aareago of Ikoyi-Ile), Chief Busari Abodunrin (Olotefon of Ikoyi-Ile), and Chief Saka Mukaila (Asipa Onikoyi Kingdom), as well as, the youths group led by Mr. Tunde Aremu (Irorun Agbe).

    According to the Minister, there are many cyber skills and other sporting activities that can engage the youths, many of which will be provided in the sporting complex when fully completed. He said, “The facilities we have here will be able to serve as a national camp to even some of our teams (Team Nigeria), whether it is for football, basket ball and the rest. Truly, the facilities located in Ikoyi Ile, Ogbomosoland, is a national project. It belongs to the entirety of Nigerians and Ikoyi Ile is just the custodian of that”.

    Speaking on the socio-economic benefits the sport complex will bring to the residents of the community, the Minister noted that: “Members of the community will be made to work directly in the construction of the stadium. There will be direct labour; a lot of local content will be there to reduce the price. Local artisans are to be employed to do all necessary works here. Even provision of water and food should be done by people here to empower them, increase their economic base, and make this area more popular, modernised and attract tourists”, he said.

    Regarding the maintenance of the facility when completed, lest it become an abandoned project, Dare said: “We have set a process in place at the Ministry that once we have a project that is built or renovated, we should come up with a two-year maintenance plan that is renewable. When we did the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Alhaji Dangote took it and we told him that there is a principle of 2-year maintenance contract. And so, there is a 2-year maintenance contract for this too. The Surulere Stadium we are doing also has a 2-year maintenance contract going with it. It is the same thing for the one we did in Daura.

    “But beyond that, it is better to have a facility manager than just leave it to the community because the question is: where will they find the resources? It is a culture and we are building that culture of maintenance into our facilities”, he said, while encouraging the leaders and youths in the community to cooperate with the contractor to ensure smooth and fast operation.

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