Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has approved the reconstruction of the 5,000-capacity Onikan Stadium on the Lagos Island.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, in a statement on Sunday said the approval would make the stadium to meet the expectations of a 21st-century sporting facility.

He added that the rebuilding was in line with the new Onikan-Marina regeneration plan.

Ayorinde said the reconstruction demonstrated government’s commitment to use sports as a tool for development and job creation.

He said, “The stadium, which is the oldest in Nigeria, was originally built in 1930 but was last renovated in the 1980s.

“The reconstruction of the stadium is in consonance with the vision of the present administration to transform the facility and other infrastructure in the locality into a tourism hub.

“The upgrade will rekindle the interest of football fans in the local league, as well as promote sports tourism and encourage youth activities.”

The commissioner stated that the upgraded stadium would promote the state’s desire to attain a host city status for local and international tournaments, as well as boost revenue generation.

He said the work would entail complete demolition of the existing facility, removal of the old turf, underground drainage and artificial pitch base.

Ayorinde said work would also be done on external and internal walls, electrical and mechanical installations, driveways, perimeter fence, borehole and water reticulation, as well as external electricity lighting, among others.

He added that the reconstruction would complement the adjoining JK Randle Arts Centre, the proposed Lagos Museum, the Lagos History Centre, as well as the Lagos Heritage Centre, which were all tourism-inspired projects.

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