Udeme Utip, Uyo
Akwa Ibom state Government has concluded plans to engage a high caliber sports club in Germany to take up the management of Sport Academy at the Ibom International Stadium before the end of 2016.
The state commissioner of Special Duties, Engr. Etido Inyang who disclosed this in an interactive session with TNN in his office hinted that talks are ongoing with the Emirates Premier League to create a Sport Academy and invest on ten year olds in the state that would spring up to become international stars to recon with in the near future.
The commissioner explained that the sport facility was not build only for football or for short term revenue saying that the idea behind the edifice of such magnitude was to create wealth for the state in ten, fifteen or twenty years.
“For example; you take a ten year old, and start to train, create an academy; I told you how passionate the Governor is and that he told Julius Berger; I want you to give me one of the clubs in Germany that would come to take up the management, create an academy of sort, so we are equally looking at the premier league. Remember that the Emirates, they came in there.
“We won’t even have the face to talk to Emirates if you don’t have a good stadium. That is a high caliber; we might succeed this year, but I don’t see us missing next year in bringing in that high level of management team that would create an academy with investment on ten years old that would spring up to become the Igalors. So we would have, not Igalor this time but Udos and Akpans that will over run all other players in Nigeria; Even on the exports to the premier leagues. That is for me what the investment is all about”. He explained.
On the commercial management aspect of the stadium, the commissioner said the state is strongly shopping for good management team, which will come up with options; which involves revenue generation and training programmes.
“We are looking at a situation where someone is coming up with an option of say; creating a club around the stadium and you pay dues and make recommendations of these young ones for the Academy. So the team that is coming in comes in with finance and then is not running it alone but creates a community where you have these young people to train up”. He proposed.
Inyang also mentioned that the state would welcome private partners who are ready to take up the completion of the second phase of the facility, which include; indoor game facilities, volley ball pitch, swimming pools among others, saying that the idea of the facility was a sport village and not just a football pitch.
He expressed optimism that when completed, the Ibom International Stadium would generate revenue not only physical money but equally brings up children in sports; to international standard.