The Minister of Sports and Youths Development, Mr Sunday Dare, on Friday, laid the foundation for a N492m Community Sports Complex at Ikoyi Ile, in Oriire Local Government Area of Ogbomoso of Oyo State.
He disclosed that the sports facilities would assist in engaging the youth of the community and also prepare them to explore their potential in order to contribute to the nation’s development.
Speaking while laying the foundation for the mini stadium which includes facilities such as tartan tracks, male and female hostels, ticketing boot/gatehouse, grandstand, popular stand, and public toilets, among other amenities, Dare hinted that the project would be 60 per cent completed by the end of 2023.
Flanked by some officials of the Ministry of Sports and Youths Development, including the Director of Procurement, Mr Segun Oke, Director of Facility Development Mr Abolore Alanamu, and Prince Bukola Ladigbolu (representative of the NUOVA ALBA Integrated Limited company handling the construction), the minister said: “the sports complex which will follow the Alaafin Adeyemi III Mini Stadium inaugurated in October, has been budgeted for in 2023, and will start functioning partially as from April 2023 when the main pitch would have been ready for use.
“We hope that in 2023, we can bring it up to 60 per cent completion. Once the football pitch is complete, people can start using it. People can start having access to any section of it. We won’t wait until everything is completed. That is the way we build sports complexes across the world.
“We hope that either by the end of next year or April 2024, it will be 100 per cent ready. But we hope that by mid-next year, some sections of it will be ready for utilisation”, he said.
According to Dare, there are many cyber skills and other sporting activities that can engage the youths, many of which will be provided in the sporting complex when fully completed.
He said: “The facilities we have here will be able to serve as a national camp to even some of our teams (Team Nigeria), whether it is for football, basketball and the rest. Truly, the facilities located in Ikoyi Ile, Ogbomoso land are national projects. It belongs to the entirety of Nigerians and Ikoyi Ile is just the custodian of that.”
Speaking on the socio-economic benefits the sports complex will bring to the residents of the community, the minister noted that: “Members of the community will be made to work directly in the construction of the stadium. There will be direct labour; a lot of local content will be there to reduce the price. Local artisans are to be employed to do all necessary work here.
In attendance at the ground-breaking ceremony were some of the traditional rulers, who led the community to donate the 16 acres of land for the complex to the Federal Government. They include Oba Oyedola Sulaiman Osuolale (Alaroje of Ogbomosoland), Chief Mumini Yusuf Odebode (Aareago of Ikoyi-Ile), Chief Busari Abodunrin (Olotefon of Ikoyi-Ile), and Chief Saka Mukaila (Asipa Onikoyi Kingdom), as well as, the youths group led by Mr Tunde Aremu (Irorun Agbe).
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