The Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare on Saturday ordered that the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, will be temporarily closed as a result of the collapse of a floodlight pole.
Dare revealed this in a statement following an inspection of the collapsed floodlight mast.
It will be recalled that on Wednesday, a torrential downpour in Lagos’ Surulere neighborhood caused one of the floodlight poles at the National Stadium to collapse.
According to eyewitnesses, there were no injuries or casualties because there was no vehicular or human traffic at the time of the occurrence.
“Thank God there was no casualty. I also inspected the 3 other light masts & the effects of age & weather elements were visible… clearly, they are also suspect after 51 years.
“Based on my assessment, advice of experts and in the interest of public safety, with the temporary closure of the stadium and surrounding facilities, proper assessment and necessary action will be taken soon.
“The concession process towards fully privatizing the Surulere stadium which began last year will be expedited by the Federal Government through the ICRC towards a comprehensive rehabilitation and upgrade of the 51 years old edifice.
“We have decided to err on the side of caution, hence the decision to impose extensive restrictions around the stadium. We request the cooperation of anyone who this decision may inconvenience as we cannot (ascertain) the reality on the ground”, Dare concluded.
Since its opening in 1972, the National Stadium in Surulere has hosted numerous memorable events, including the 1973 All-Africa Games, the 1980 and 2000 African Cup of Nations as well as the FIFA World Youth Championship.