Governor Abubakar Atiku-Bagudu of Kebbi on Monday, laid the foundation of 1.2 Million US Dollars Nigeria’s first FIFA mini-stadium in Birnin Kebbi.
Performing the ground breaking ceremony,the Governor expressed delight with commencement of the all-important project, and vowed thatp it will be properly executed to its logical completion.
Bagudu exclaimed ” Today is an important day for us in Kebbi State. A day for the flag off of this great project of the World Football Governing Body,FIFA.
” This is a new initiative by the FIFA President, Gianni Infantino . We must acknowledge all and sundry who have worked so hard and tirelessly, to ensure the realization of the project.
” NFF Secretary General , Dr Mohammed Sanusi, been in the forefront of supporting Kebbi State.”
Bagudu stated that, sports was an important tool of development, adding that, every society must accord it the desired attention, otherwise it is doomed.
The Kebbi Governor further said that, youths with talents in the state were being fished out, for mentoring, to enable them to take their rightful places , locally, nationally and internationally.
According to the governor, the premier project will provide more opportunities for these youths, among many other short and long terms advantages of the project.
The President of Nigerian Football Federation ( NFF), Amaju Pinnick who was represented by Ibrahim Musa Gusau , Chairman of Chairmen of Nigeria Football and Zonal Coordinator North West described the project as momentous and ground breaking approved by FIFA in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State.
He appreciated FIFA for collaborating with NFF on the project from inception to the final go-ahead with all due diligence in line with best practices.
The NFF boss averred ‘ This idea is in line with NFF’s and FIFA’s new thinking of grassroots football development and youth empowerment, as well as battling social vices.
He commended governor Bagudu for his robust support to the project including approval of the massive land on which the stadium will be built. He equally acknowledged Alhaji Abubakar Chika Ladan , the Chairman of Kebbi State FA for his untiring efforts that has also greatly contributed to the success of the project.
He charged the contractor not only to ensure completion of the project within the stipulated six (6) months agreed with FIFA, but also to do an excellent job that the people of Kebbi State and Nigeria will be proud of.
Sanusi said that, Infantino promised to develop football from the grassroots, as well as improve funding, for football globally.
The NFF Scribe who was emotional, also said that, Infantino has promised to improve funding to the development of infrastructure and facilities in all Member Associations.
” Instructively, he has trippled funding for infrastructural development, hence, the conception of this project.
” NFF allowed these funds to accumulate to $4million , as such, this project is now a reality,” he explained.
Sanusi also extolled the invaluable support of Bagudu to his reappointment and other endeavours.
Abubakar Cika-Ladan, FA Cairman in Kebbi, said that the stadium was the first of its kind in Nigeria.
While appreciating the state government for its keen interest in the project, the chairman recalled that the government had paid N19 million compensation to land owners.
He said the facility wouldn’t have come at a better time than now in view of the concern Gov. Bagudu has for sports especially football.
Cika-Ladan said Kebbi is well known in beach soccer, recalling that its contingent won the national and continental beach soccer trophy, and represented Africa at the World Cup, where it came second.
The facility will initially have 267 seats and can be expanded to accommodate 6,000 fans.
It is being constructed through the FIFA/NFF Goal Project.
Contract for the stadium construction, expected to be completed in six months, was awarded to ARON Nig. Ltd at the cost of $1.19 million.