The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has said that the federal government received a bill for 81 million naira to cut off the Moshood Abiola national stadium in Abuja.
He said this in a series of tweets on Sunday.
According to Dare, the sports ministry rejected the bill.
The minister explained that the fund was not available, adding that there would be a protest if Nigerians were told that 81 million naira was used to cut grass.
He tweeted: “The ministry received a bill. The Ministry did not accept. It would be detrimental to spend such an amount. And you can invest better.
“If we tell Nigerians that we use N81m to cut grass, which is not even available, there will be a clamor.
“The funds are not really there for us and that is why we are partnering with private investors to take back key components of our infrastructure.”
Previously, journalists reported that the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development proposed to spend a total of N798.75 million on various projects at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, in 2021.
This contains part of the 2021 budget that was presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to a joint section of the National Assembly in October.
Journalists had reported in June that the Abuja stadium was in disrepair a year after it was named after the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election, Moshood Abiola.
The breakdown of the Sports Ministry budget for fiscal year 2021 that was compiled by our correspondent showed that there are seven different projects to be carried out at the Abuja stadium.
While four of the projects were listed as ongoing projects, another three were listed in the 2021 budget as new projects.
The ongoing projects are the rehabilitation of public lighting, panels and electrical works in package A and B of the stadium that would cost N60m, the construction of the National Center for Medicine and High Performance of the Stadium with a budgeted N300.75m and the reconstruction of a second training ground expected swallow N90m.
The last of the projects listed as ongoing is the general maintenance of package A and B of the stadium, which would cost N250m.
Included as new projects for fiscal year 2021 in the budget are the renovation of the indoor sports hall and gym for N60m, payment of the water bill for N15m and the wireless access network for the stadium at N23m.
The stadium, which was built in 2003 with 53 billion naira on 29 hectares (72 acres) of land, is divided into Package A and B.
Package A houses the Main Bowl while Package B houses other facilities such as basketball courts, NFF office, volleyball courts, tennis courts, squash courts.