Lagos- Some users of the National Stadium, Lagos, expressed dissatisfaction at the general cleanliness of the environment after the facility was used for various social functions.
Some athletes and coaches who the facility was actually meant for, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the use of the stadium for social functions had been largely responsible for the lack of cleanliness of the arena.
Some of them who spoke to NAN were of the opinion that people using the facility for town meetings, marriage receptions and other social activities usually “messed up’’ the stadium.
“The stadium is gradually turning to an event centre, for social gatherings, rather than for sporting activities.
“The entire arena used to be given out to people coming to hold social functions; all the car parks and training pitches were also being given out for parties.
“The unfortunate thing is that after using the stadium for such occasions, they leave the place dirty with leftover food, urine and waste dotting the grounds around the facility,’’ Adewale Oshin said.
NAN correspondents who went round the premises report that the environment is in a sorry state as dirt littered everywhere, with posters indiscriminately defacing the walls.
Sunday Nwamuda, a boxing coach, said that apart from the dirty environment, athletes hardly now had places to train.
“It used to be clean when there were many cleaners engaged by the National Sports Commission (NSC) to clean up the arena after the events.
“But today, there are only a handful of cleaners to clear the environment.
“The entry point into the gymnasium and the administrative block smell of urine, an uncomfortable mess to those facilities.
“Besides that, athletes hardly have places to train in the stadium now because the entire arena was usually given out to people coming to use them for social functions,” he said
Olakunle Idris, an athlete, added that the NSC Management’s latest policy of letting out spaces for social functions was eroding the primary reasons for building the stadium.
“There is no electricity, water and toilet facilities. This has caused people coming to use the stadium to urinate indiscriminately outside, thereby leaving the environment in a mess.
“They have turned every corner into shops, party grounds and left no place for athletes to train in. And the money generated from the car parks are not being utilised to maintain them.
“It is not good for the athletes to train in a dirty environment because the odor oozing out of the place is offensive and is adversely affecting us.
“Two or three years ago, we used to see cleaners come early in the morning to do their jobs before we begin our training, but nowadays, their presence is hardly noticeable these days,” he said.
A staff in the stadium management department told newsmen  on condition of anonymity that they always ensured that the environment was clean after being used for parties.
“The stadium management has provided toilet facilities for the users; the problem is that some people don’t use these toilets.
“But we keep educating them on the use of the toilets and also fine anyone caught flouting rules of proper usage of the stadium,’’ he added.

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