Minister for Sports, John Owan Enoh, yesterday in Lagos said that his administration has endorsed the concession of the National Stadium in Surulere and other stadiums nationwide to private individuals, who will help to revamp and maintain them.

Enoh, on his first official inspection of facilities at the National Stadium, Surulere, said the deplorable state of the stadium moved him to tears, adding that the only way to rescue the facilities is through a government, private sector partnership.

“The challenge for my administration is to revive sports development and the only way is to get good faculties and organise grassroots championships in different sports.

“The MKO Abiola Stadium also needs to be maintained to regain its standard. That is why concession is important. The government cannot do it alone. That is why working with the private sector is important,” he said.

Enoh also emphasised the need to work closely with special athletes, who have won many laurels for the country at international engagements.

“In my administration they will be given priority attention. President Tinubu knows my capabilities that is why he specifically said I should be made the minister of sports. I don’t need to be a sports personality to perform well as minister. All I need is the passion to deliver. That is why I am moving my office to the MKO Abiola Stadium to ensure I am close to the federations and athletes.

“I also direct all sports federations, who don’t have their offices at the stadium to move there immediately,” he said.

The minister also said that he intends to grow sports at the grassroots by introducing youth competitions in different sports, with emphasis on areas like Ajegunle and other densely populated communities that have abundant talents.

He added: “I am here to transform sports in Nigeria and the results will become clear in due course,” he said.

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