Peculiar Ultimate Consult, the contractor handling the reconstruction and upgrading of the main bowl and other sporting facilities at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin, Edo State, has assured that the job will be delivered by September.
The Project Manager, Femi James, gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria during a guided tour of the ongoing works at the stadium complex on Tuesday.
James said the facilities would be delivered for test-running well ahead of the National Sports Festival to be hosted by the state in 2020.
He said aside the upgrading and reconstruction work at the main bowl, the Lawn Tennis Court, Judo, Wrestling, Boxing, Squash and Swimming pool areas were also being worked on.
James noted that the work at the main bowl had attained 65 per cent completion, saying others had reached between 30 per cent to 50 per cent completion levels.
He listed the level of reconstruction of work carried out at the main bowl to include changing of the whole seats, replacing the artificial grass with natural grass, expansion of the VIP area, changing the tartan tracks and complete roofing of the whole stadium.
He said: “We are through with our grassing of the football pitch.
“What we are doing now is just maintenance and nurturing the grass.
“For the tartan tracks, we are through with the casting of the tartan tracks and the concrete base, 100 per cent completed.
“We are awaiting the arrival of the tracks.
“That is going to come up around August.
“We have been advised that we don’t lay it during the rains.
“So, we will be doing that shortly after the rains.
“As you can see, the roof covering is about 65 per cent completed.
“By first week of June, we should be through with the roof covering of the main bowl.
“On the VIP section, we are on finishing already.
“The cladding, we have two levels here: the upper and lower one.”
James said they were through with the frame work for the upper one and the cladding itself is about 50 per cent completed.
According to him: “By next week, we should be through with the upper level cladding to remain the lower one.
“We are dressing the seating area now.
“As you can see, 40 per cent of the seats have been arranged.
“By June, we should be through with everything that has to do with the seats.”
On other parts of the stadium renovation activities, the project manager expressed satisfaction with the level of work attained, saying they were well ahead of schedule.
He said the lawn tennis court would be increased from three courts to four, in addition to the expansion of the spectators’ stand and provision of other amenities for the players.
James said provisions had been made to build a bigger and a much higher standard squash court.
He said: “On the swimming pool, a whole lot of work is going on there.
“While not increasing what we met, we are, however, upgrading the standard and we will also work on the spectators’ stand of the pool.
“We are also working on judo, boxing and wrestling practice rooms.
“What they had before was just judo and boxing but we are adding wrestling to it.
“We are doing some slight demolition and upgrading in this area too.”
James attributed the delay in the commencement of work at the indoor sports hall to the need to provide a temporary office accommodation to the staff.
According to him: “Indoor sports hall will be worked on and why we have not started anything there is because all the staff have been moved there and we do not want to make them uncomfortable more than we have done already.
“Once we are through with work on some parts of the stadium, we can move them out and carry out whatever work we need to do at the indoor hall.
“In all, we are looking at August or September to deliver these projects.”
The project manager said this was achievable because there had not been any challenge of funding.
He said: “So far so good, we have not had any challenge with the government on this.
“We have an arrangement with them and they have not defaulted on this arrangement.”