Bokkos – Rep Solomon Maren of PDP on Tuesday urged Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau to maintain the original plan of the multi-billion Naira Jos Stadium as approved by the previous administration.
Maren, representing Mangu/Bokkos Federal Constituency of Plateau, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bokkos that the original plan of the stadium was of international standard.
He also urged the state government not to use sub-standard materials to complete the stadium, saying it would be counter-productive.
The lawmaker said any alteration of the original plan or the use of sub-standard materials would make the stadium fail to meet FIFA’s approval for any international competition.
He said the immediate past state governor, Jonah Jang, did all he could to complete the stadium before he left office but was truncated by lack of funds.
“Gov. Jang’s administration did all it could to complete the gigantic stadium, but for the lack of funds, it could not be completed before he left office last May.
“If what I heard is true about Gov. Lalong trying to alter or use substandard materials in his attempt to complete it, then that will be the doom of that stadium,’’ Maren said.
The lawmaker, a former Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development under Jang’s administration, said world football governing body FIFA would, if necessary, not tolerate anything substandard about that stadium.
“If at all we want the stadium to be considered for international competitions, FIFA would first consider how standard the stadium is,’’ he said.
Maren said, as the project’s supervising commissioner under Jang’s administration, he ensured that all the materials used were of standard.
“This is because we want to bring the whole world to Plateau after the stadium’s completion for sports activities, considering our good weather.
“Jang’s administration had expended more than half of the N11. 4 billion contract sum on the stadium and so there was no need for any alteration or reducing the stadium to a sub-standard one.
“Lalong, as a sports-loving governor, should not allow any bad advice from any quarter which can lure him into reducing the scale of that gigantic stadium and allowing it to waste away,’’ he said.
Maren said the state would benefit immensely from the stadium if completed, as it would make Plateau a tourists’ attraction centre and would improve its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
When contacted on his reaction, Engr. Sam Galadima, the state’s Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, however, denied any plan by the APC-led government to alter the stadium’s original plan.
Galadima also denied the use of local or sub-standard materials in the attempt to complete the stadium.
“Gov. Lalong recently visited the project site of the stadium and categorically stated that the best materials needed for its completion would be used.
“In fact, anybody spreading such rumour about our intention to use local materials is not fair to this government,’’ Galadima said.
The commissioner pointed out that the intention of the state government was for the contractor, BCC Tropical Nig. Ltd., to complete the stadium before the end of December.(NAN)