A sports stakeholder and the National Coordinator of the Niger Delta Activists Group and Excellent Leadership Foundation, Chief Izzi Yakiah has called on the Senator Diri led government to immediately effect repair works on the main bowl of the Samson Siasia sports complex to save it from total collapse.
Chief Yakiah who made the call while speaking with journalists in Yenagoa, said the need for the urgent maintenance of the sports facility is to safeguard the world class stadium from further dilapidation.
According to him, if nothing is done urgently the only sports facility in the state that was built about 23 years ago might completely breakdown due to overuse, adding that regular maintenance would ensure that the facility does not fail completely.
He noted that it is always cheaper to maintenance a facility than to build and advised the government to award a retainership contract for the maintenance of the stadium to Monimichelle Construction Company LTD, a grade one sporting company that is known all over the world.
He said: ” this stadium was first built by the second military administrator, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade then as a take off when the state was created. And thereafter Chief Timipre Sylva awarded the contract to Monimichelle Construction Company to rehabilitate, refurbished and put tartan tracks to upgrade it to international standard.
“Again, the contract was awarded to the same company by former Governor Seriake Dickson to install the staduim seats, flood light, electionics scorecard and to regrass the football pitch. So it is a wonderful facility, but the major challenge is the lack of maintenance culture by Nigerians and the non adherence to standard that will stand the test of time and create value for the citizens.
” In fact this is the only sporting complex in the state, after 23 years this is the only facility we have been maintaining, rehabilitating and keeping. So we are appealing and urging the current Governor Senator Duoye Diri to please as a matter of urgency reaward the maintenance and re-equipping of this facility to international standard. Little monies would be spend to maintain whereas huge millions would be spent to build.
” So now that we have been able to build, why don’t we just award a retainership contract to the contractor. He is a Bayelsan. For a Bayelsan to be involved in sports facility maintenance and construction and to be able to build up to international capacity of this magnitude, I think he should be encouraged and should rather award the maintenance and supervision of the stadium to that same company so that it can be maintained at a very cheap cost and keep it up to standard for posterity.”
The Atissa-born sports stakeholder emphasized that the management and maintenance of sports facility is a technical area that involves a lot of expertise, hence the need to award to maintenance of the stadium to a reputable and fIFA rated sports construction company like Monimichelle that has the competence, capacity, pedigree and the technical Know how to manage and maintain the stadium to international standard.
Chief Yakiah while urging His Excellency, Senator Duoye Diri, whom he described as sports loving Governor to build another stadium of international standard to reduce the pressure on the Samson Siasia Sports complex, however called for the regular maintenance of the existing sports facility for posterity.
He stressed the need for government to as a matter of priority invest heavily in sports development, stating that sports is one of the sectors that can engage the youths and redirect their energies to meaningful ventures.
He called on the Bayelea State commissioner for youth and sports development, Hon. Baraladei Igali to bring his wealth of experience as an Olympic and World champion to bear on the administration of sports by ensuring that there is massive investment in sports facility as well as the development of the youths in sporting activities.