$360m Abiola stadium taken over by weeds. Adelani Adepegba and Sodiq Oyeleke The National Stadium, Abuja, now renamed Moshood Abiola National Stadium, is in a state of disrepair following the failure of the government to maintain the facility, which has been taken over by weeds. Findings indicate that many facilities at the complex, built at a whopping $360m in 2003, had deteriorated while the environment looked unkempt and rough with grasses growing all over the walkways and parking lot. The sports complex was renamed Moshood Abiola in commemoration of the sacrifices of the winner of the June 12, 1993 election by President Muhammadu Buhari during the Democracy Day celebration in Abuja on Wednesday. The 60,491-capacity stadium, which was constructed to host the 8th All Africa Games in October 2003, consists a covered main bowl; presidential suite and viewing area, 56 corporate suites, post office, banks, media facilities, two scoreboards and floodlights as well as shops and kiosks. Other features include a helipad, 3000-capacity indoor sports hall, 2000-capacity gymnasium, 2000-capacity swimming arena, tennis courts, 3000-capacity hockey stadium and baseball and softball complex. The MANS is also equipped with emergency service units and closed circuit security cameras, many of which are no longer functional.
Checks also revealed that about three out of the eight fire-fighting vehicles at the complex had broken down for many years.
One of our correspondents, who visited the Package A and B of the facility on Thursday, observed that the patchy football pitch had been abandoned and looked desolate.
While the tennis and hand ball courts appeared to be in fairly good conditions, the swimming pool showed signs of decay due to lack of maintenance.
Many of the seats at the spectators’ section have been badly damaged, while the bad ones were simply dumped on the top deck in a messy lump.
The facility, which had been turned to a grazing ground by herdsmen, had cattle droppings all over the surroundings of the indoor section of the stadium.
The Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, which is in charge of the facility, had earlier complained that its budget was not sufficient to maintain the stadium.