Comprehensive rehabilitation of the main pitch of the National Stadium Abuja has begun. Work on the stadium began last week, with the contractors who built the stadium Julius Berger PLC being in charge of the rehabilitation effort.
Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi had assured Nigerians In December 2012 of total rehabilitation of the stadium starting this January. The Minister had said then that, “we have concluded arrangements with Julius Berger to bring alive the pitch of the main bowl and training grounds in January, after the holidays.”
As promised, work on the stadium has begun in earnest. The scope of work includes: removal and replacement of the topsoil, planting the approved specie of grass, well watered and nourished until roots are established; maintenance of the pitch, include watering and trimming of the grass for three months.
The terms of the contract also requires Julius Berger to provide new water sprinklers for the stadium.
According to the Contractors, work on the stadium will be completed in late February, while the maintenance would take an additional three months. It is expected that the stadium will be ready for use in late May or early June 2012.
Engr. Ibrahim Shehu, Director of Facilities at the NSC, said that systems have been put in place to ensure top-grade maintenance of the Stadium when the contractors finish their work. “ The problem we had in the past was as a result of theft of the power cable, which supplied power to the stadium. With the lack of electricity, we could not power the water pumps and so could not wet the grass. Now all those problems have been sorted out, and we will make sure that the stadium is of international standards at all times,” he said.
He also disclosed that the NSC had perfected plans to put the stadium to active use throughout the year.