The federal government has ordered the temporary closure of the national stadium at Surulere in Lagos state following the collapse of a floodlight mast. Minister of sports and youth development, gave the directive on Saturday after he inspected the vicinity where the floodlight mast collapsed.
The minister was said to have toured the facility on Friday to assess the condition of the place. In a statement, Dare said the closure of the stadium became imperative to avert any unforeseen circumstances
“Thank God there was no casualty. I also inspected the three other light masts and the effects of age and weather elements were visible, clearly, they are also a suspect after 51 years,” he said. “Based on my assessment, advice of experts and in the interest of public safety, there will be a temporary closure of the stadium and surrounding facilities; proper assessment and necessary action will be taken soon. “The concession process towards fully privatising the Surulere stadium which began last year will be expedited by the Federal Government through the ICRC towards a comprehensive rehabilitation and upgrade of the 51 years old edifice.
“We have decided to be on the side of caution, hence the decision to impose extensive restrictions around the stadium. “We request the cooperation of anyone who this decision may inconvenience as we cannot ascertain the reality on the ground.” Earlier this month, Dare said at least N21 billion is needed for the renovation of the national stadium in Surulere. The national stadium was built in 1972 and was the venue when Nigeria won its first African Cup of Nations (AFCON) trophy in 1980. The stadium, however, turned moribund in the early 2000s when it last hosted national team matches.