Sunday Dare: Why National Stadium floodlight collapsed
Heavy windstorms on Wednesday April 19 wreaked havoc at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos as one of the holding the flood light in terrace K of the stadium collapsed.
In swift reaction, Nigeria`s Sports Minister Hon. Sunday Dare visited the facility and spoke on the reason for the collapsed floodlight.
The Sports Ministers thoughts were conveyed by the Ministry`s Director, Press and Public Relations, Manga Mohammed who said the ongoing repairs at the 51-year-old stadium did not cover floodlights and 16 other parts of the stadium that still need urgent renovations after 19 years of neglect.
He said “Unfortunately, the collapse of the mast carrying the floodlights was due to heavy windstorm and rains. It is nature. We also learnt several structures across Lagos were also affected.
“The facilities department has secured and put out danger signs on the other three masts carrying the floodlights.
“Also, note for clarity and proper guidance that the ongoing repairs does not cover flood lights and 16 other parts of the stadium that need urgent renovations. What do you expect when a stadium that is 51 years old is left unmaintained for 19 years?
“When the Ministry said the stadium was old and needed money to fix it after 19 years, Nigerians reacted without considering the facts about the stadium. What do you expect when you leave a specialized structure for 19 years without maintenance?
“It is a 51-year-old structure for crying out loud. 19 years of neglect. That is what we are trying to correct, but people think other sectors and buildings need money but sports facilities do not need money. Every building suffers wear and tear so also a stadium.” he said.
On the need for massive investment in facility maintenance, the minister used the Etihad stadium as example to back his message.
“Etihad Stadium for Manchester City Football Club, just this week, requested for $317 million to add 7,000 more seats (from 60,000 seats to 67,000 seats) and do maintenance. There is no magic here. It’s the reality,” he concluded.