Reps wade into controversy over National Stadium

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By Emman Ovuakporie and Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA—THE House  of Represen-tatives yesterday, mandated its Committee on Sports to investigate the terms and conditions of the agreement under which the Federal Ministry of  Youth and Sports is seeking to transfer the National Stadium to Lagos State Government.

The Committee is also mandated to investigate the utilisation of budgetary allocations in the last five years for the maintenance of the stadium and report back  within two weeks  for further legislative action.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd left), with the Minister of Youth and Sports, Barr. Solomon Dalung (left) during their joint inspection visit to the National Stadium, Surulere, on Wednesday.
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But lawmakers from Lagos state who contributed to the motion stoutly opposed it, saying  that instead of investigating the handing over of the stadium to Lagos state, it was better to commend the Lagos State Government for the interest in reviving the stadium that had remained in dilapidated state.

However, the sponsor of the motion, Damburam Abubakar Nuhu explained that the essence of the motion was not to stop the Lagos state government from taking over the stadium but rather to ensure that due process is followed.

The House in its resolution to investigate the handing over the stadium to Lagos said it was in a bid to ensure transparency and accountability.

Nuhu in his lead debate on the motion claimed that the sum of N400 million was appropriated up until 2016 for the maintenance of the stadium, adding that the Federal Government had proposed to spend N185 million in the 2017 budget to maintain the stadium built by the Federal Government in 1972 to host the All African Games in 1973.

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