Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has agreed in principle to transfer the Ahmadu Bello Stadium to Kaduna State Government.
He also said the 16,000 capacity stadium which was designed by English architects Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry in 1965 will be expanded into a multi-sports facility similar to Murtala Square in the state.
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El-Rufai who stated this on Wednesday explained that his administration was working out the details of the transfer with the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Youths and Sports stressing that the Minister of Sports, Mr Sunday Dare had initiated the process of handing over.
While hosting individual athletes and teams that won medals for the state at local and international competitions, El-Rufai said his government was also undertaking a major upgrade of the Ranchers Bees Stadium into a modern stadium.
He commended the athletes for putting the state on the national and global map saying Kaduna has always been a centre for sports development giving examples with the likes of Daniel Amokachi who he described as a “Kaduna boy.”
“And I hope that this tradition of young Kaduna boys playing football up to the premier league and European league levels, will be something that will continue,” he said.
El-Rufai also said his administration has reintroduced school sports, to get athletes and other sporting talents, from primary and secondary schools while the state was also building neighbourhood sport centres as part of an overall strategy of bringing sports closer to the people and providing opportunity for sporting talents to develop.
The governor assured the athletes that the government will reward all the medalists, with some modest cash gifts as well as land application forms, so they can build their own houses.