Awka – Sports lovers in Anambra have called for the speedy execution of work at the Awka Township Stadium to avail the residents of the area of a functional sporting facility.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that contract for the Awka Stadium project was awarded in June 2013 by the thenAnambra governor, Peter Obi, to Paul B Construction Company.
The project which was estimated to cost N500 million with a completion period of 28 weeks has yet to be completed 14 months after the expiration of the Obi administration.
The enthusiasts who spoke with NAN on Thursday lamented that works on the project had been stopped for a long time.
An athlete, who simply identified himself as Chukwuka, and seen training at the stadium, said sportsmen and women were excited about the project initially when the perimeter fencing was being done.
Chukwuka said that he like most other users of the facility thought that by now the football pitch and tartan tracks would have been completed and ready for use.
An ex-footballer, Arthur Ebunam, said the project if completed would help the realisation of youth development through sports.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10″]
Ebunam lamented that the pace of work at the stadium was not encouraging and called for more effective monitoring to ensure that the handlers of the project delivered as agreed.
“It is important to have effective supervision of the job, you cannot commit money to a project and don’t follow it up, we need to see more activity at that stadium,’’ he said.
On his part, a former sports commissioner in the state, Edozie Aroh, said he was afraid of the project eventually seeing the light of day at the rate it was progressing.
Aroh said he was bothered that no visible activity was going on at the site.
“I will like to see the stadium project come to pass but I feel sad that the future of our youths is being held hostage by the stalled stadium project,’’ he said.
Chidi Mbanefo, a former director of sports in the state, said he was hopeful that the project would be delivered soon.
Mbanefo called for patience on the part of the people as he hoped the project would regain attention after the electioneering period which had slowed down every aspect of the economy. NAN reports that the aspects of the project executed so far are 1,400 capacity grandstand and concrete works for the tracks, while a large portion of the premises have been overgrown by weed.
The active sections of the expansive stadium complex is the clay pitch and blown off roof tent where footballers and wrestlers come around to maintain fitness.
Efforts by NAN to speak with senior officials of the Ministry of Sports were unsuccessful as they were not permitted to speak on the issue.
Tony Nnacheta, Commissioner of Ministry of Youths and Sports did not respond to the visits, calls and texts messages sent to him for his reaction. (NAN)