Sunday Dare on the spot over N81million grass-cutting budget

Sunday Dare

Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare has discredited a report which suggested he said it would cost the ministry N81million to cut the grass in MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.

The report had suggested he made the statement recently during the one-day seminar organised by the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) FCT chapter.

It further said that according to him, the ministry approached the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) for assessment in the stadium, which was built in 2003 with N53 billion on a 29 hectares (72 acres) of land.

“We approached AEPB to come see what can be done to clear the grass and weed in the stadium and they told us it will cost us N81m.

“If we tell Nigerians we used N81m which is not even available, there will be an outcry. The funds are not really there for us and that is why we are partnering with private investors to bring back the key components of our infrastructures,” Mr Dare was quoted to have said.

But the minister tweeted on Sunday, saying the report was “misleading”.

“Spot the difference. This story is out of context. Misleading. A misrepresentation.The Ministry was given a bill. The Ministry did not accept. It will be detrimental to spend such an amount. And it can be better invested. That is what I said. This is not what they have reported,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, the stadium is divided into two packages. Package A houses the main bowl while Package B houses other facilities like basketball courts, NFF office, volleyball courts, tennis courts and squash courts.