Enugu - The Federal Government on Tuesday handed back the management of the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium to the Enugu State Government.
Performing the ceremony in Enugu, the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Gbenga Elegbeleye, said the event followed the approval of the request made by the state government to the Federal Government.
Elegbeleye said the state had over the years collaborated with the Federal Government in maintaining and rehabilitating the stadium.
According to him, the state government made huge financial investments in the provision of vital facilities for the successful hosting of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2009.
"This act convinced the Federal Government that the state government was capable of maintaining the stadium in line with approved international standards,’’ he said.
The D-G urged other states to emulate Enugu in the development and maintenance of sports infrastructure.
Elegbeleye also commended Governor Sullivan Chime for reactivating school sports, adding that it would enhance the discovery of talents for the country.
Responding, Governor Chime thanked the Federal Government for returning the stadium to the state government.
Chime assured that the stadium would be better managed under the state's Ministry of Sports and Youth Development.
The governor said his request for the return of the stadium was prompted by the decision of the government to sell some of the facilities there, adding that he was scared the whole stadium might be sold.
He, therefore, commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his prompt response to the request and promised to ensure its proper management.
"All we are interested in is just to promote sports. I am assuring you that the standard will improve,’’ Chime said.