Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
If the 2020 budgetary allocation is properly implemented, there are strong indications of possible return of sporting activities at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos and the Moshood Abiola Stadium Abuja, as the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has set aside a staggering N279 million for the maintenance and upgrade of the facilities at the two edifices in next year’s annual budget.
While the ministry, currently under the supervision of Mr Sunday Dare, earmarked N129 million as capital project for ‘maintenance of Abuja Stadium’, it graciously set aside a whopping N150 million to upgrade the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
However, next year’s budgetary allocation is a departure from that of last year when the ministry, under Solomon Dalung, budgeted N240 million, allocating N170 million for ‘stadium maintenance’, N50 million for ‘rehabilitation and upgrading of Velodrone for UCI certification’ and N40 million for ‘renovation of Goodluck Athletes’ Hostel in Abuja’.
Giving further breakdown of the amount to be expended in the current administration’s determination to take Nigerian sports to the next level next year, the ministry, in the 2020 Appropriation before both chambers of the National Assembly, revealed that the ‘procurement of equipment and preparation of 2020 Olympics’ will gulp N200 million.
It further disclosed that while ‘furnishing of the Association of National Olympic Committee for Africa (ANOCA) building’ will take N40 million, the equipment for National Sports Festival would equally gulp N80 million.
What might, however, arouse the curiosity of most sport-loving Nigerians is the N134.250 million the ministry allocated for the ‘construction of mini sports centres’, without a definite explanation of the benefiting states other than describing it as an ‘on-going’ capital project.
From the budget breakdown, the ministry equally revealed that it has planned for a very smooth movement of its vehicles and provision of alternative power supply by setting aside a whooping N53.182 million on lubricants, which comprised diesel and fuel for vehicles and generators.
The document further revealed that while it will expend N36.8million to ‘supply diesel to the national stadium’, lubricants will take a cumulative N16.382 million, with an allocation ratio of N8.741 million and N1.282 million to ‘fuel motor vehicles and ‘other transport equipment fuel cost’, just as ‘Plant/Generator Fuel cost’ will gulp N6.358 million.
The document confirmed that the amount to expend on the items in the 2020 budgetary allocation is slightly different from the amount it budgeted in the 2019 appropriation under Solomon Dalung, as he expended N39.504 million on fuelling alone.
The breakdown of the items in the 2019 budget, shows that ‘Fuel and Lubricants General’ took N39.504 million, with specific amount of N28.219 million allocated for ‘motor vehicle fuel cost’, N850, 000 on ‘other transport equipment fuel cost’ and N10.434 million on ‘plant/generator fuel cost’.