Abuja Stadium: Reps ask NSC to account for N96m spent on pitch

The House of Representatives Committee on Sports yesterday expressed dissatisfaction with the renovated Abuja National Stadium pitch. Chairman of the committee, Hon. Godfrey Gaiya, who led his members on oversight function to the stadium, described the N96.6million used for the re-grassing of the pitch as doubtful.
Speaking to newsmen, the legislator said the House committee was disappointed with the level of work carried out by Julius Berger Plc, saying there is not enough drainage to drain water after rain fall.

“The re-grassing is just an aspect of the renovation and they (NSC) said today that it cost them N96.6m to do. “My verdict is that I am not comfortable with the water- logging on the pitch.

I was in Calabar and it rained for three days before the match (against Malawi) and you cannot compare Calabar that is in tropical environment to Abuja that is in the Savannah where rain is lighter,” Gaiya said.
“So, if it rained in Calabar for three days when Nigeria played Malawi and I never saw anything like waterlog spot but ordinary drizzling caused water ponds on the renovated Abuja pitch.”

The Representative vowed that the National Sports Commission (NSC) must give detailed account of all their spending for the stadium renovation, even as he regretted that the House has no powers to summon the contractor, Julius Berger, for explanation.

“We never entered into any contractual agreement with Julius Berger. Our oversight function rests on the NSC.
It is the NSC that will bring their client to order when our observations are made known to them. “We wonder if they can relay the message to Julius Berger to get it done the way every Nigerian will be comfortable with,’’ he added. He further described the ceremony that followed the renovation as un-called for. Earlier at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for similar oversight function, the House Committee on Sports assured the NFF of increased funding in the 2014 budget.

NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, told members of the committee that the N1.6billion given to the NFF for fiscal 2013 was grossly inadequate considering the age-group national teams it had to carter for.

Maigari noted that about N100m was spent on Nigeria’s participation at the U-20 2013 World Cup in Turkey, while N170m was used to prosecute the Confederation Cup hosted by Brazil in June. The Committee’s oversight function will continue today in Lagos, while the train will move to Kaduna next Monday.

National mirror
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