Nigeria: Dangote to Hand Over Refurbished MKO Abiola Stadium in November

Abuja stadium.
12 October 2021

Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, is set to hand over the refurbished main bowl pitch of the MKO Abiola National stadium to the federal government in November.

Adedeji Adesoji, executive director of Aron Nigeria Limited, contractor handling the Stadium's renovation, disclosed this during the inspection of the project in Abuja on Monday.

Adesoji said the new scoreboards installed at the stadium are Video Assistant Referee (VAR) compliant, adding that the Platinum TE Paspalum grass was used, the same type FIFA approved for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

"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, so that took us 3 month to fix, We have changed all the 24 water sprinklers.

"We have fixed the scoreboard to international standards, record in time, play back, fast forward, it can also broadcast to the world, and other things.

"The grass is in an advanced stage and we are looking at handing over the pitch to the sports ministry next month hopefully.

"The grass here is the first time it is being used in Africa, Platinum TE Paspalum to be used will be the same type FIFA has approved for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

According to him "But now we are maintaining the pitch, we will be doing that for 2 years and we also have growing more grass outside the stadium in case we need to replace the grass at any time."

On his part, director sports facilities, Ministry of Youth and Sports , Engr Muhammed Babakoby, reaffirmed the federal government's commitments to make good use of the Stadium.

"The federal government will ensure that the Stadium, when fully ready, will host international tournaments, hopefully we should see the return of the national teams in Abuja soon" he said.

Recall that Dangote had earmarked $1 million for the renovation of some parts of the 60, 000 capacity stadium, which had gone from a monument of national pride to a site of national embarrassment.

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