THE Senate Committee on Sports and Social Development has promised to ensure that the Federal Ministry of Finance released all the money required by the Local Organising Committee (LOC), for the successful hosting of the Nigeria 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which begins in Nigeria on October 24.
Some sub seats and committees of the LOC had complained of inadequate funding from the LOC for a satisfactory hosting of the championship.
Speaking during the inspection of facilities at the Abuja National Stadium, the Senate Committee’s Chairman, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, noted that the LOC had not complained to them of non-release of fund, stating that funds must be made available for the project as it involves the corporate image of Nigeria.
He noted that the LOC should be aided in ensuring that everything was put in place for a successful hosting of the championship.
“This championship is very important to the country. We have an image to protect and there should not be any shortcoming in the LOC’s efforts to give the country a hitch free hosting,” stressed the senator, who disclosed that the committee would be inspecting other sub seats within the week.
On Nigeria’s level of preparedness for the event, Lokpobiri praised the LOC for the standard of facilities at the stadium, stating that what the committee had seen while being taking round the stadium showed that Abuja was ready for the championship.
A member of committee, Senator Joel Danladi, however, urged the LOC to ensure that it avoided crowd stampede in the stadiums during matches, adding that security had to be taken adequate care of in order to avoid a repeat performance of the incidence recorded during the Nigeria versus Tunisia World Cup qualifier, where many spectators got injured as result of poor crowd control.
Senator Danladi urged the LOC to map out designated places for cars to avoid the case of over crowding the stadium with vehicles and people.