Stakeholders in sports industry on Tuesday expressed happiness over plans by Edo State Government to construct mini stadium in each of the 18 council areas of the state.

The stakeholders who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews said the move will address youth restiveness among many other critical issues in the state.

They also said that it would ensure healthy competition among the youths as well boost sports development at the grassroots level.

A former Nigeria Junior International, Idemudia Osigwe, said the plan, when realized “will be the greatest thing that will ever happen to sport in Edo.”

According to him, “When the whole idea was first muted by the government, I saw it as another huge joke of the government and a clear attempt to score cheap political point.

“I have since changed my mind when I saw the advert placement by the government calling for bids for the construction of the facilities.

“I must commend the government and make bold to say that the state is in for complete transformation of sports.”

To Bernard Joeman, Edo will soon become the hub of harnessing talents.

“This is particularly so because youths will now have the opportunity to showcase their hidden talents in these facilities that will be evenly spread across all the local government areas,” he said.

Similarly, a sports promoter, Christopher Ojo, said the plan by Godwin Obaseki led government would curb the challenges associated with youth restiveness.

“This is because the youths would have had themselves productively engaged in these sports facilities; their minds will no longer be idle.

“It will also be a case of using one stone to kill two birds as the state will have a giant leap in sports development.”

However, Alemma Aliu-Ozioruva, a journalist and member of Sport Writer Association of Nigeria (SWAN), urged the government to also design plans for the sustainability of the facilities.

“It is a brilliant idea, but my appeal is that while the government constructs these facilities, plans for their maintenance must be built along.

“They must include plan for regular and periodic maintenance of these facilities in order to ensure that it outlived the tenure of the not only the government that constructed it, but other governments to come,” he stated.

NAN reports that Obaseki had during the campaign tour across the state, promised to construct mini stadium across the 18 council areas of the state.

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