Nigerian billionaires Aliko Dangote and Kesington Adebutu have pledged to renovate the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja and the National Stadium in Lagos respectively.
The Nigerian minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, disclosed this during a press conference at the launch of the Adopt Campaign For Sports in Nigeria at the Civic Centre in Lagos, a report by ThisDay said.
The Adoption Campaign by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports is an initiative whereby the ministry encourages wealthy Nigerians and corporate institutions to support the rehabilitation of critical sport infrastructure in Nigeria, as well as take on the sponsorship of Nigerian athletes to prepare them adequately for the 2020 Olympic games.
The two billionaires, according to the Sports Minister, have accepted the challenge as part of their respective companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Cement and Sugar tycoon Aliko Dangote, who is Africa’s richest man, will fund the renovation of the dilapidated Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja, while Kesington Adebutu, who made his fortune in the lotto business, will finance the restoration of the National Stadium in Lagos.
The playing turf of the main bowl of the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja, which was completed in 2003 in readiness for Nigeria to host the African Games that year, is in need of complete refurbishment. The Lagos stadium, which was built in 1972 for the country to host the 2nd edition of the African Games, is now a shadow of itself even after a complete renovation in 1999 for the Under-20 FIFA World Cup finals hosted by Nigeria. The main bowl is completely out of fashion. The last time it staged an official match was in 2001 when the Super Eagles defeated Zambia in AFCON qualifying match.
Aliko Dangote, who is worth $14.8 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is the founder of the Dangote Group, a conglomerate with interests in cement production and sugar manufacturing among other concerns. Kesington Adebutu is the founder of Premier Lotto, the largest lotto operator in Nigeria.