Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, has said that the rehabilitated Olympic-size swimming pool at the National Stadium in Lagos will be part of the achievements in sports to mark President Muhammadu Buhari’s one year in office.
The minister gave the indication on a recent inspection visit of the facility on which he ordered resumption of rehabilitation immediately on assumption of office.
Satisfied with the progress of works he commended the contractor, Mr Joseph Odebeatu, the managing director of Jonac Engineering Services, for his commitment and requested him to tidy up whatever is leftwithin two weeks so that a date could be fixed for the commissioning.
“I am indeed overwhelmed by the level of work. We can safely say the swimming pool has been completed. All that is left is just final touches for us to commission the project for Nigerians to begin to use it. The contractor has lived up to expectation and has defended his integrity. He may not have made monetary profit but money cannot buy the name he has made here,” Dalung enthused.
“In maximum two weeks, we should be through with the issue of the swimming pool so that it can be part of our celebration of one year in office.”
The minister stressed that the contractor has justified the reason for delaying the project before he (Dalung) came into office.
“His reason for the delay in the job before I came in has been justified. There were no funds for him to make progress. Even when we restarted, we hadn’t money to give him but there was the commitment that if you start we will try and provide funds and he indeed went out of his way to show commitment,” observed Dalung.
On the use and maintenance of the pool, the minister indicated that it will not be business as usual as it was in the past.
“This pool has been left unattended for the almost 20 years. We have not completed it for it to be returned speedily to status quo ante. We must ensure that this facility is put to maximum use. It must be well managed, kept neat and maintained. Anybody that is found culpable with regards to the maintenance of the facility should is to face stiff sanction.
The minister also ordered that similar rehabilitation work should be commenced on the children’s section of the pool to avail kids opportunities to learn and train.
“The children pool should also be completed for children to learn and train in swimming. We must not deny children the opportunity of expressing their talent,” concludes the minister.