Nigerian industrialist and Africa’s wealthiest man Aliko Dangote is set to deliver the refurbished MKO Abiola National Stadium Abuja to the federal government in November, Leadership reported.
The project, which started a year ago, was handled by Aron Nigeria Limited’s indigenous firm. According to the contractor, unforeseen glitches extended the project handover deadline, which was originally scheduled for March.
“We started in August 2020 and we were supposed to finish in 2021 March, but due to some itches, like the drainage had collapsed after several years of not being in use,” Aron Nigeria Executive Director Adedeji Adesoji said.
Adesoji added that the new scoreboards installed at the stadium are video assistant referee compliant.
The stadium’s rehabilitation was made possible under the Adopt-a-Stadium Initiative.*
Dangote also outfitted the stadium with world-class tartan tracks and a new football pitch. The contractor noted that the Platinum TE Paspalum grass that the FIFA approved for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was used for the pitch.
Meanwhile, the renovation of the national stadium in Lagos, which is being handled by gambling mogul Kessington Adebutu under the same initiative, has yet to be completed. The project commenced in December and was scheduled for delivery in August.
Punch reported that exchange rate variations between the dollar and naira and delayed material deliveries due to COVID-19 have postponed the timeline for the project’s handover.
*The Adopt-a-Stadium Initiative is a strategic partnership between Nigeria’s Sports and Youth Development Ministry and private individuals who are interested in refurbishing degraded stadiums around the country.