Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, has committed one million dollars to the renovation of some parts of the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja.
The commitment comes about nine months after the billionaire businessman promised to renovate the 60,000 capacity edifice.
In June last year, TheCable reported how the stadium had morphed into a shadow of its former self, with dilapidated facilities, grass and refuse littering virtually at every spot.
But at the handing over ceremony on Wednesday, Mansur Ahmed, group executive director, Dangote Group, averred that the business tycoon will ensure the main bowl of the stadium is restored to world-class.
“Aliko Dangote is committing the sum of one million dollars to ensure that the main bowl pitch of MKO Abiola stadium is restored to world-class,” Ahmed said.
On his part, Sunday Dare, minister of youth and sports development, commended Dangote for coming in to shoulder the responsibility of renovating parts of the stadium.
“After months of discussions, planning and processing, that promise has come to fulfillment today with the kick –off of the project… the football pitch will be getting the long overdue face- lift it deserves,” Dare said.
“This landmark event reinforces my faith in the public-private sector partnership in line with Government’s efforts at delivering on our mandate. Government alone cannot fund sports and maintain facilities.
“We need more private corporations to take a cue from what Aliko Dangote and Adebutu Kessington have done in supporting our drive to renovate and maintain our facilities for use by our athletes and to play host to international events.”
The renovation is expected to take 24-week to be completed.
Present at the pitch handing over ceremony were; Obinna Ogba, chairman, senate committee on sports; Habu Gumel, president of Nigeria Olympic Committee; Alhassan Yakmut, Daniel Amokachi, special assistant to president on sports; Nwankwo Kanu, Garba Lawal, Tijani Babangida, Chika Chukwumerije and Gabriel Okon.
Below are photos: