Africa’s Newest International Stadium: A Nest of Waste?

Joachim MacEbong

With an engineering first degree in his former life, Joachim holds an MSc. in Media and Communication from Pan Atlantic University's School of Media and Communication. Analysis is his strong suit, providing context for and making sense of events in the news. His articles have been published on Quartz, YNaija, Nigeria Dialogue, Nigerians Talk, and he is a regular guest on Channels TV's 'Rubbin' Minds'.

You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. Nkem N says:

    Wonderful piece.
    Well articulated, objective and hits the nail squarely on the head.
    The Nigerian problem is that we forget so easily, and always find it convenient to trade away long term development for short term fanfare (enjoyment is a more suitable word).

  2. Your points were well presented and researched. However, I would say that there are always exceptions in all case studies. The fact that other sport investments did not yield expected returns doesn’t imply that the Akwa Ibom State Stadium wouldn’t.

    The significance of the stadium to the Akwa Ibom people have to be approached from these viewpoints:

    1. It is the first standard sport facilities in the entire state. If the stadium ever wants to be counted as a serious state with respect to sports, it must have it’s own sport facility. The stadium will provide athletes a ground for carrying out various sport training. Have you ever wondered what made Lagos the sport capital of Nigeria? Obviously, Lagos has three standard (world-class) stadia: National Stadium, Teslim Balogun Stadium, and Onikan Stadium. Almost all well-accomplished sport men and women in Nigeria can be traced to the three stadia in Lagos. The Akwa Ibom Stadium will also serve as the home ground of the Akwa United Football Club which is currently doing well in the Nigeria Premier League. Can you imagine America without home grounds for all the Soccer, Basket Ball, Cricket, Baseball, American Football clubs? Are the Americans wasting money building thousands of grounds all over the country? The answer is no! Construction of sport facilities is a serious investment in the people and the economy of any nation. Akwa Ibom state has taken a giant stride in the development of sport and the empowerment of the people of the state.

    2. The Akwa Ibom state government is preparing the state for a leap in tourism and industrialisation. The provision of infrastructures including sport facilities is a deliberate strategy of the government.Take a look at the official website of the Akwa Ibom government, then you will get a clue of why the government is spending over 80% of her budget on capital expenses each year. Akwa Ibom is already becoming a haven for investors (local and foreign), especially since the commencement of 24-hour power supply by the Ibom Power Station some couple of months ago. Historically, industrialisation and tourism has been linked together, and what better way of entertaining the tourists than with a spectacular match between Akwa United and Kano Pillars at the magnificient Akwa Ibom Stadium!

    3. Every people have their heritage and pride. If all arguments were to fail, one argument that cannot be gainsaid is the pride of Akwa Ibom people. We cherish our new state. We love our governor. Li se Akwa Ibom ajid, sia anye Ajaya (Come and See our Akwa Ibom, because she’s beautiful)!

    Ndianabasi Udonkang

  3. jae pete says:

    The author is very myopic by premising his argument on monetary terms alone, I will challenge the author to show us where in the world a social, cultural or sports infrastructure has become a economic infrastructure, Govt, owned multi sports stadiums like the one in Akwa ibom are not built to make money but to give youths and oppurtunity to develop their atheletic talents within a frame work of classic infrastructure. IF in 20 yrs this stadium inspires 100 kids from Akwa Ibom and nigeria to become future champions like vincent enyeama then it would have justified its cost no matter how exergerated the author pegs it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: