THE zero budget Youth and Sports Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung said his ministry ran in 2016 may have caused the Facilities Department which duty, it is to keep the environment and structures in the Abuja National Stadium and other Stadia in the country unable to perform its duties.
As a result, the Abuja National Stadium, which hosted the 2003 All Africa Games and described as one of the best in the continent and the world, has become a ghost of itself with dangerous reptiles and weed taken over the whole premises.
Consequently the ministry staff whose offices are inside the stadium have abandoned their offices for fear of being bitten by snakes and scorpions which crawl all over the premises and sneak into the offices.
A concerned staff of one of the sports federations at the Package B of the Abuja Stadium who pleaded anonymity said because of snakes and scorpions, workers are afraid to make use of their offices or the Board rooms for meetings.
“The whole premises have been overtaken by weed and as a result, snakes and scorpions crawl everywhere and even enters the various offices and boardrooms. Nobody wants to be bitten by a snake or scorpion so most of us just come and hang around a little and leave,”he said.
Another staff who wondered what the allocation the ministry gets for the functioning of the various departments is used for said, “the last time the weeds were cut and the lawns maintained and the premises fumigated was during the tenure of Alhassan Yakmut as Director General of the National Sports Commission.”
Meanwhile, the staff also complained that the sorry state of the stadium is caused by the decision of the minister to abandoned his office at the stadium and restricting himself only to the Youth wing of the Ministry situated at the Head of Service section of the Federal Secretariat at the city centre.
“Since Dalung assumed office as minister, he has refused to use his office at the stadium or even the federal Secretariat. He seldom visits the stadium except to occasionally attend some functions which are usually held there.
Worst still, he has refused to engaged the staff attached to his office from the sports departmen of the ministry.
He instead relies only on the staff of the Youth department of the ministry,” the staff disclosed.
Of the N83,416,015,167 billion budgeted for the Youth and Sports Ministry, the youth department which houses both the National Youth Service Corps and the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre (CLTC) took a lion share of N74,007, 622,305 billion (NYSC-N72,875, 300,832bn and CLTC N1,132,321,473bn).
The ministry’s headquarters is expected to get N7,762,617,332 billion being the total for its recurrent and capital expenditures. The NFF is expected to receive N1,149,250,310 billion while the National Institute for Sports (N.I.S.) will receive N496,525,218 million. Like in 2016, the sports federations comprising about 26 sports were surprisingly not mentioned for any fund.