Youth and Sports Development Minister, Sunday Dare, yesterday emphasised that spending scarce resources to fix sporting infrastructure is more important than spending money to cut the grass around the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja. He added that merely cutting the grass would amount to not just gross waste of scarce resources, but also misplacement of priorities.
Reacting to ‘a misleading and out of context newspaper report’ that the minister said an N81 million proposal to cut the grass around the stadium was received by the ministry, Dare said ‘the headline by the author of the story was not only misleading, but incongruous with the content.’
Speaking though his Media Adviser, John Joshua Akanji, Dare said, “It has become imperative and a necessity to clear the air on the misleading headline by a newspaper that the minister would spend N81 million to clear the grass at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja. What the minister said was that it would be wrong and a misplaced priority to spend a huge amount to cut grass when there are so many other competing matters that need to be attended to.
“The minister said a one time clearing of the stadium would cost N81 million. If I tell Nigerians that I would be spending N81 million to cut grass so that there would be no rats and grasscutters, what do you think of their response? The same press will condemn such action as waste of money and misplacement of priorities.”
He added, “It is, therefore, unethical, mischievous, unprofessional and unfair to twist the statement to suit the interest of the writer.”
The Moshood Abiola National Stadium Abuja, which sits on a 43- hectare of land, was abandoned for many years until the minister convinced Alhaji Aliko Dangote to rehabilitate it . The on-going work at the stadium is expected to end early next year.