Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), with Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung (2nd left); President, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr. Amaju Pinnick (left); Special Adviser to the Governor on Sports, Mr. Deji Tinubu (2nd right) and Commissioner for Youth & Social Development, Pharm. (Mrs) Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf (right) during the minister’s courtesy visit to the Governor at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has called for an urgent handover of the National Stadium abandoned by the Federal Government since 2005 to the State Government to enable it handle the renovation and manage it effectively.

Ambode made the call after embarking on the inspection tour of the facilities in the stadium alongside the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President Amaju Pinnick, Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde and other government functionaries.

The Governor, who lamented that the facilities over the years had turned to hoodlums hub and centre of unwelcome activities, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for its readiness to fast-track the rehabilitation of the stadium.

He disclosed that the state is prepared to hit the ground running towards restoring the old glory of the stadium once officially handed over to the state.

He said, “I am tired of watching Arsenal, Barcelona, Chelsea matches. I want something like Dalung babes, Asiwaju babes in order to drive more attention to our domestic league and to encourage more participation at the grassroots level”.

Ambode further stated that there was a plan on ground to build five stadia across the five divisions in Lagos state to facilitate the development of sports at the grassroots.

In his remarks, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Barr Solomon Dalung expressed optimism that the forthcoming international match between Nigeria and Zambia will be played at the National Stadium as it will wear a new look very soon.

Records have it that in the history of sports in Nigeria, Surulere National Stadium had contributed a lot to the development of sports in Nigeria and across Africa

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