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The Ministry Has Not Requested For N21 Billion Naira From FG for Surulere Stadium-

April, 12 2023.

The speculations and mixed reactions about the cost of renovating the National Stadium Surulere, seems to have missed some vital points Investigations revealed that contrary to the report of a National Newspaper, that the Ministry has requested a sum of 21 Billion Naira from the government, we found out that, that is not true. The truth is that, the Ministry has not requested or received such money from the Federal Government.

The Minister of Sports only mentioned the estimated amount for the complete Renovation of the National stadium, Surulere based on the submission of a company. Such estimates, are subject to review; Industry experts said, as it is with most proposals.

The reactions that has followed this disclosure have been unfortunate, uninformed and unprogressive.

“How does the mere mention of a figure, become the collection of that money? There is so much ignorance around the workings of government. The request must go to the Federal Executive Council before, if it gets there, the BPP will do a rigorous costing and approve a reasonable amount in writing, before the Minister can take it to Council. Even at the Council, it will be subjected to interrogations, questions and possible ammendments before it is approved or rejected. So. the mere pronouncement of a figure does not automatocally mean it has been approved or released", a retired Director of the Ministry, Dr. Are said.

Further investigations by on the cost of renovations, reveal that costs vary based on stadium capacity; cost of materials, age of stadium and type of materials used. Investigations revealed that for a 51 year old stadium, abandoned for 18 years and compared with others, the cost of renovation will be about what was mentioned by the Minister. For instance, we found out that the average global estimates for stadium renovations and upgrade range between 400M dollars to 678M dollars. Nothing compared to the 41Million dollars estimate submitted to the Ministry.

The monetary implications of building sports edifice to a level of appreciable value is no piece of cake. Globally, some of the best football stadia, cost almost an arm and a leg, due to the financial weight they demand.

The Stadium in Surulere which suffered abandonment for over 17 years was at its lowest ebb, before it got picked up by Sunday Dare for upgrade.

At least for context, one may take a look at some of the investments, that stadium projects around the world have gulped, starting from where charity begins.

National Stadium, Abuja (Nigeria);

This ultra-modern sports complex cost $360 million and was opened in 2003, ahead of the 8th All Africa Games. In fact, it is among the world's 50 most expensive stadiums. The stadium is home to the Nigerian National Football team.

Envisioned as a national sports stadium, Abuja National Stadium cost a reported $360 million in 2003 almost 20 years ago. It was designed to accommodate 60,491 spectator seats.

Julius Berger had a bill of N1.2billion naira for the yearly maintenance of the National Stadium, Abuja. The FG rejected the bill as being too high. For each year that it was not under a maintenance schedule, the amount it needed for maintenance increased.

Juxtaposing this with the National stadium, Surulere that was abandoned and unmaintained for over 17 years, one can only imagine the level of rot suffered by the infrastructure. Doing the math at the top of one’s head, will surely bring pains.

Wembley Stadium, London; How much did it cost to rebuild Wembley Stadium? The stadium was built by Australian firm, Multiplex at a cost of £798 million (£1.27 billion today). Two partially-retractable roof structures over the east and west ends of the stadium can be opened to allow sunlight and aid pitch growth. While the edifice is beautiful and its technology is great, it did not come at a paltry sum.

Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain; The 81,000 capacity stadium was recently renovated by Real Madrid at a cost of over $700 Million Dollars.

The traditional home ground of the Los Blancos is seen as one of the finest grounds in Europe. While it was not built all over from the ground, the club invested well over half a billion euros to have it renovated for continual usage at optimum levels.

Republic of Maldives National Stadium; The 12,000 capacity in the Island nation is costing the country close to $25M. Work resumed on it at the start of April and it is set to take massive investment for its completion.

The National Stadium Surulere Lagos which seats about 45,000 spectators is currently under renovation and upgrade of all its major facilities. Renovations and upgrade is estimated to gulp 41million US Dollars. Given the gigantic nature of the edifice and the level of rot and abandonment it had suffered, it leaves no surprises, it needs proper investment for total lasting and complete rejuvenation.

Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium, London; When discussions about football stadiums hold, a solid example to dive into is the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. Its construction started in 2013 and was finally completed six years later in 2019. The Premier League side opened the brand new state-of-the-art, 61,000 seat stadium in all its glory. The ground houses some of the best amenities and seated pretty in the bubbly city of London, England. The project cost an astronomical $1.4 billion.

On an average, a stadium operates not beyond 30 years before very major renovations are undertaken. The National Stadium, Surulere is 51 years old already. Added to this, it was left unmaintained for 18 years and this means major parts of its structure are dilapidated. If one examines facts before the eyes, it is unsuprising that the ground would need 21b naira, an approximate sum of 43m dollars given the exchange rate. The cost of renovations cannot not be different for Nigeria.

The average global estimates for stadium renovations and upgrade range between 400M dollars to 678M dollars.

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