The contractor handling the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, has pledged that the stadium will become operational and ready to host football and other sporting activities from next month.
Fielding questions from newsmen during an inspection of the project on Monday, the Executive Director, Avon Nigeria Ltd, Adeniji Adesoji, revealed that the seed for the grass imported from Europe which will be planted this week will be lush green by the end of this month.
Speaking before conducting the newsmen round the facility, Adesoji lamented that the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the earlier completion date, assuring stakeholders that the stadium will become fully operational in May.
The contract was awarded last year under the Adopt-a-Pitch programme of Sports Minister, Chief Sunday Dare.
The contract comprised the main-bowl pitch, the nursery, the scoreboard and the control room.
"We took over the project on August 31 last year and ever since then we have been working according to the programme specifications.
"We would have handed it over to the Sports Ministry authorities by now but we had issues with the Covid-19 pandemic.
"This is because the main pitch involves bringing into the country, hybrid seeds from Europe. We could not do that because the lockdown affected us. All the components of the scoreboards to be imported from Europe. It was also affected by the no flight situation.
" We had issues with the pitch, particularly the underground drainage system like the sprinkler. But with the help of the ministry, we have surmounted this challenge."
He admitted that all the necessary infrastructure needed to complete the project by next month have been shipped into the country now.
"The underground drainage system has been completed while the sprinklers have arrived the Lagos airport to be brought to Abuja to be installed anytime this week.
"The seeds are also in the country and we are supposed to start planting the grass seed this week and by the end of this month, the grass will be lush green at both the main pitch and the nursery.
"As for the scoreboard, the components are at the Lagos airport waiting clearance and once they are cleared, we will install instantly. We have also installed all the damaged cables," the contractor further revealed.
Adesoji further revealed the magnanimity of the Sports Ministry leadership
to allow the contractors to take over the control room and putting it under good control.
"The control room is now functional and once the scoreboard arrives, we will install, test and handover."