D160M stadium renovation to finish in April
The minister for Youth and Sports, Bakary Y. Badjie on Wednesday informed lawmakers that the renovation work at the Independence Stadium is expected to be completed in April and would open in June 2024 for international games.
“According to the new assessment, the Ministry of Works has projected that the current and next phase of the project will take four months; therefore, depending on the availability of funds; if we start in January, we will be able to finish by April and in June the stadium will be fit for usage,” Youth minister told deputies.
Minister Badjie said one of the hindrances to the success of the project is lack of funding. However, he added that President Adama Barrow made a visit there recently and he did indicate that “he would provide funds for the work to continue,” he revealed.
He further asserted that in terms of the expenses, so far they have spent D130 million on the renovation and the documents have been sent to parliament.
“The total amount that was assessed by the Ministry of Works to be able to do the work is D160 million but the amount so far spent is D130 million,” Minister Badjie explained.
“The assessment was done in phases. So the initial face which is considered to what CAF required would have been completed based on the amount that was given. However, there is a second and a third phase of the project; and as we speak we are getting in the second phase and that was not part of the initial assessment of the D160 million allocated.”
The Youth and Sports minister flagged that they encountered challenges in accessing funds and this was because the stadium was never budgeted for in 2023. “So government was using other sources to be able to do the work that was required which is a commitment on our part. However, there are challenges in accessing it as we want and that has been one of the reasons the work is not progressing as expected.” he added.
“We requested for a budget line for the stadium, unfortunately it was not captured in the 2024 budget.”
Source: The Point