The MKO Abiola Stadium in Jakande Estate, Oke-Afa Ejigbo, is undergoing renovation. The surface of the pitch which had been in a terrible condition, with the flow of soccer games hosted there, is now in a grassing process. The measure is part of the plans by Lagos Building Investment Company (LBIC), to renovate and rejuvenate the Estate; an effort to promote sports development in the area.
According to Mr. Oluwafemi Ibine, a youth leader, LBIC has promised to completely grass the pitch as a way of engaging the youth of the community in sporting activities. “LBIC has taken over the charge of the grassing of the pitch”. He said the management made this commitment of grassing the pitch, as part of their way of giving back to the community.
Ibine said a lot of demolition took place in the Estate recently and in compensating for the loss, LBIC has promised to give the youth necessary amenities for empowerment.
He said the organisation has also promised to wire the field and give access to the public, to watch ongoing games. “The pitch is part of the master plan for the Estate, but at one time, was used for farming, until the youths of the estate decided to take it over and turn it into a Sports Centre”. Adding that the youths. with the support of some private individuals, have been the managers of the centre.
He said, the immediate past administration of the LCDA, under the Chairmanship of Honourable Kehinde Bamgbetan, fenced the pitch at the time. Commending the efforts of individuals and schools, within the estate, that had, at one time or the other donated.
Sighting schools that had contributed to the development of the centre. He said Marybene Schools, did the Toilet and Bathroom. Joy Filled schools built an office for the centre and the field where the youths can sit and discuss.
“Summer Rain School gave the centre, Cleaning Tools and a Generating Set was provided by New Covenant schools” he said. Adding that the sporting facility is managed by an executive committee made up of youths from the community.”
Ibine said schools which partner with them are allowed to do their sporting activities on the field, free of charge saying that the grassing of the field is going to be a positive effect on the youths and their development.
He said teams from other areas and communities, who train at the centre, pay N200 naira per training session. “It’s not like they are paying the management a huge amount to train, we charge stipends, because our youths use these opportunities, to also train with the visitors”.
“Having a stadium of this size, within the estate has made positive impact on the youth and LBIC has promised to really improve the community. Sport is a good way to engage the youth, rather than have them get involved in nefarious activities. We hope to get all of what the LBIC promised us and even more ” he said.