Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
If the 2020 budgetary allocation is properly implemented, there are strong indications of a possible return of sporting activities at Rasaq Balogun playfield, Surulere, Lagos and the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, as the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has set aside N279 million for the maintenance and upgrade of the facilities at the two edifices in its 2020 budget.
While the ministry, currently under the supervision of the Minister, Sunday Dare, earmarked N129 million as capital project for ‘maintenance of Abuja stadium’, it set aside N150 million to upgrade the Rasaq Balogun Playfield to a mini stadium.
Next year’s budgetary allocation is a departure from that of 2019 when the ministry, under Solomon Dalung, budgeted a total sum of 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 Atheletes Hostel in Abuja’.
Giving a further breakdown of the amount to be spent by in the current administration, the ministry, in the 2020 Appropriation before both chambers of the National Assembly, revealed that the ‘procurement of equipment and preparation of 2020 Olympic’ will gulp a total of 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 the National Sports Festival will cost about N80 million.
What might however arouse the curiosity of sport-loving Nigerians is the sum of N134.250 million the ministry allocated for the ‘construction of mini sports centres’, without a definite explanation of the benefitting states other than describing it as an ‘on-going’ capital project.
From the budget breakdown, the ministry revealed that it has planned for vehicle maintenance and provision of alternative power supply by setting aside N53.182 million on motor lubricants, including diesel and fuel for vehicles and generators.
The document reveals that while the ministry will expend N36.8 million to ‘supply diesel to the national stadium’, lubricants will take a cumulative sum of 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 amount to 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’.