By Saka Bolaji, Minna
The Niger state government has approved N425million for the construction of a new sports center in Minna, the state capital.
The approval came just as the renovation works at the Bako Kontagora stadium is said to have been abandoned by the contractor due to lack of fund.
The state government had in February this year awarded the renovation of the stadium at a cost of N38million to an indigenous contractor, Minkom Nigeria Limited.
CityMirrorNews gathered that only N8million, about 25% mobilization fee was paid to the contractor, resorting to abandonment of the project due to lack of funds.
The state darling Team, the Niger Tornadoes who could not play its home matches at the stadium due to its poor condition however spent over N60million to play the matches in Lokoja in the just concluded season, it was learnt.
The Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Alhaji Mamman Musa, while rejoicing the Team’s escape from relegation stated that fixing the Bako Kontagora stadium remained a top priority for the government, saying “I know what it is for the Team to get home support while playing its matches”.
However, rather than fixing the stadium, the State Executive Council on Wednesday last week, approved the construction of a new sports center to be built in Minna with a completion period of 12 months.
Musa who disclosed this to newsmen in Minna, said the decision of the government to embark on the building of a new sports complex was aimed at moving the state forward in sports development.
The new sports complex, when completed, will have provision for an artificial football pitch, Hockey pitch, Tennis court, a volleyball court, squash hall, among other things.
Musa stated that the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello has directed the ministries of sports and that of education to work out the modalities for reintroduction of the school sports in the state to discover new talents