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How Kwara Government Renovated Stadium’s Indoor Sports Hall With N72Million On Paper With Nothing On The Ground To Show For It



In this investigation, THE INFORMANT247’S YEMI SODEEQ who visited the indoor sports hall of the Kwara State Stadium in Ilorin, writes that despite the release of over N72 million for its renovation, the old sporting facility is in shambles, housing reptiles and downsizing the momentum of sporting men and women who ought to be training at the facility. 

It was a sunny Monday afternoon and a training day for Volleyball players at the Kwara State Stadium complex. Adedayo Oke, the Captain of the Kwara United Volleyball Club who also doubles as the Assistant Coach of Volleyball in the State, stood at a corner inside the gigantic Indoor Sports Hall of the stadium.

Oke was visibly worried. At some points, he was lost in thought when this reporter approached him to inquire about the state of the complex.

He looked up with a jolt, sighed and before he could utter a single word, Oke reached for an old bag of sacks and brought out several damaged balls.

He then began to narrate how they are facing difficulties trying to access the facility.

“It is quite obvious, especially to those familiar with this stadium, that this facility is in a state of despair. This floor is no longer good for the safety of players and the equipment we use. The balls and other sporting equipment have become an endangered species, with irons and metals inside the hall pushing them to a short life span,” Oke lamented.

The volleyball skipper further noted that the ramshackle hall is having adverse effects on how long their balls can be used. By that expression, Oke’s argument suggests that the deteriorating condition of the facility is taking some economic toll on their pockets. “You can see we now have less than two balls in good condition. We used to have ten balls, but the balls have been deflated by pins and nails around here,” he added, stressing that each volleyball cost between N40,000 to N45,000.

A Shadow Of Its Old Self

The Kwara State Stadium Complex is an expansive edifice cherished by the sports-loving Kwara residents. From the gate to the training pitches, swimming pool, outdoor twin basketball and volleyball courts, main bowl, football academy and indoor sports hall, the stadium complex stands out as the first of its kind in the country.

The arena, built in 1977 by the then military administrator of the state, the late Brigadier-General George Innih, remains one of the stadiums in the country owned by a state government, with a large concentration of sports, numbering 28 in the whole complex. It hosted the 1985 National Sports Festival, and it has also hosted several other important sports tournaments, like the World Handball Championship in 1991, among others.

The multi-sports ‘Indoor Sports Hall’ inside the complex, among many other sporting events, could host basketball, volleyball, handball, table tennis, badminton, boxing, judo, and taekwondo including all para-sports for disabled athletes. The structure, which houses offices of the Kwara State Sports Commission, also by extension has places for games like dart and weightlifting.

However, this all-important facility is in shambles presenting a leaky roof, broken chairs for spectators and damaged air conditioners.  The place becomes uninhabitable, especially during the rainy season. It’s now a place for reptiles and other dangerous animals.


N73 Million Is Spent Without Accountability 

Records obtained by The Informant247 show that in 2021, the sum of N72,485,773.22 was released for the rehabilitation of the edifice.

Records from Kwara State’s financial statement obtained by this medium show that a total sum of N516,180,034.00 was earlier budgeted for the renovation of the hall in the 2021 financial year.

About 7 months into 2022 and despite the evidence of the release of N73 million naira, not a single inch of renovation has been started at the facility. Our correspondent reports that the facility remains in shambles and no work has started even after the release of funds.


The edifice has severely deteriorated, and the environment has become very filthy. The chairs in the spectators’ sitting area are broken, and some have fallen off their positions. The metal at the edge of the broken seats, according to players, destroys balls every now and then.

Broken Chairs 

The floors are impassable and windows have been blown off by the windstorm. The playing tracks have worn off completely. Whenever it rains, it is flooded for several hours.

The roof is blown off and the walls present easy passage for lizards and other reptiles.  Just like the roof, there are gaping holes on the floor, as well. A peep into the office area showed that the terraces were equally damaged.

The main entrance to the hall itself is dilapidated. The famed hall where some of the country’s best trained before international championships, is now in a sordid state.

Barrage Of Lamentation 

Players and other users of the Kwara State sporting facility continue to express their disaffection with the condition of the facility and how it continues to weaken their morale.

Olasunkanmi Abdulhameed, a basketball player who was training inside the hall says the state government has not done anything recently to put the facility in shape.

“They are not doing anything here, for now, absolutely nothing,” he stated.

“I’ve been training here for the past 2 years. They only worked on some other facilities. Nothing was done here. Everything is unkempt, it stinks too.”

An official of para games who spoke to The Informant247 but does not want his name mentioned for fear of victimization said: “Our government is just playing politics with that place. They go there, pay lip services and budget millions of naira for renovation, eventually, nothing will be done. I don’t think the government is actually ready to renovate this place.”

A member of the Kwara Badminton Veterans Club, Ahmed Ayinla berated the current standard of the hall, stressing that it no longer ticks the boxes of competition requirements.

“Going by a standard badminton hall, that place doesn’t meet the standard in terms of facilities like changing rooms, shower rooms, and even convenience,” he said. “The lighting within the hall is another major problem. Some of the games that could be played at night time now need ‘special provisions. The lights are no longer functioning. If not, there are some little provisions just to make sure that things are still going.

“The floor itself is old. It is supposed to be matted. It is very rare for you to see wood like this. It really affects the performance of the Athletes who train here on the wood and go out there to play on the mat,” Ayinla added.

A Table Tennis player, Bisola Asaju noted that, although a new hall is currently being constructed for the game, the players still have a lot to contend with regarding the Table Tennis section of the facility.

“One of the challenges we are facing here is the loose window at the roof that gives space for wind and this is not really good for our game because the wind used to disrupt the movement of balls.

“Anytime there is rain, we will need to stop the game because of some places where rain used to enter the hall. Some of our tables have now been spoiled by the rain,” said Bisola who added that the floor has also worn out and it is often difficult to play anytime there is no light.

An official of the Kwara State Sports Commission, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “The renovation is long overdue. I could remember vividly when I was young, the hall played host to a lot of international competitions like the World Handball Military games. But in recent years, the state of the indoor facilities has become worrisome and it is a major concern for all stakeholders.

“The offices that surround the indoor sports hall are also affected and it is a gory sight during the rainy season and it is often more or less like we are outside anytime there is a downpour,” he added.

Kwara Sports Commission Reacts 

When asked about the money released for the renovation of the indoor sports hall of the stadium, the Chairman of the Kwara State Sports Commission, Bola Magaji who also lamented the condition of the facility, said that he was not aware of any funds released for its rehabilitation.

“I am aware of the money released for the renovation of the swimming pool, the squash court and Handball, but I can’t say the same for this hall. You can see my office too. Is this how my office is supposed to be,” the chairman whose office is also within the complex said.

He said the Sports Commission only came on board last year, adding that details about the renovation of the Indoor sports hall weren’t contained in the inventory he took upon his assumption of office.

The Kwara State government on August 3, 2021, appointed board members for the Kwara State Sports Commission after the abrogation of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development

Several attempts to reach the Commissioner of Finance, Olasumbo Florence and the former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development in the State, Barrister Iyabo Banire for comments were futile as they refused to pick up calls or reply to text messages.

This story was published with support from Civic Media Lab

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Doyin Okupe appeals money laundering conviction



Former Director-General of the Labour Party Presidential Campaign Council, Doyin Okupe, has appealed his conviction on money laundring charges by the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Justice I. L. Ojukwu on December 19, 2022 convicted him of two counts of money laundering and sentenced him to two years imprisonment with an option of fine.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had told the court that Okupe received over N200m cash from a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), without going through the bank.

The anti-graft agency said he violated the provisions of the money laundering law.

In an appeal filed by his lawyer , Joe-Kyari Gadzama, SAN, on Thursday, Okupe is seeking the reversal of his conviction.

He argued that he received the said sums in cash not in his individual capacity but for the Office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs.

He said he acted under the instructions of the ex-President and hence, he should not be penalised unjustly.


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First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider has announced the call for participation in the third season of its FirstBank Management Associate Programme (FMAP).


Interested participants are required to submit their application via


The application is extended to the general public as it closes by 24 March 2023.


The FirstBank Management Associate Programme (FMAP) is a 24-month fast-track comprehensive programme targeted at young, dynamic and highly driven individuals that are passionate about making a difference in the financial services industry. The programme is designed to build the next generation of leaders to drive the Bank’s vision of being Africa’s Bank of First choice.


FMAP equips participants with an extensive wealth of experience comprised of both classroom and real-life work that affords an insightful and balanced insight into the world of work. The programme is targeted at hi-potential young professionals who possess acute thinking skills, financial and methodical skills, and a distinctive ability to communicate effectively and synthesize ideas, information, and data to aid decision-making.


Speaking on the FMAP Season III, Olumuyiwa Olulaja, Group Head, Human Capital Management and Development, said “since its inauguration in half a decade, we are delighted with the giant strides and impact the initiative has had in promoting the career development of emerging talents in the financial services industry as they are instilled with the tenets and ethics of the banking industry in line with global best practice.


The FMAP initiative is amongst the many ways we reinvest in our human capital as we build the next generation of leaders through their exposure to various opportunities essential to preparing their readiness for the future.


Since its launch in 2018, FirstBank has successfully trained and onboarded up to fifty talented individuals in 2 editions (2020 and 2022), who have all been deployed into strategic roles in the Bank and making a difference in the organization, while we continue to support their leadership growth and development.


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Omojafor, Eiremiokhae, Babaeko, others set to be honoured at ‘The Industry Awards4.0’



· Renamed Lifetime category


The management of The Industry Newspaper organisers of ‘The Industry Summit/Awards’ has stated that some distinguished marketing communications professionals in the country would be conferred with some highest awards in this year’s event scheduled to be held on Friday, March 31st, 2023 in Lagos.


The year’s award is looking at the performances of 2022 and the top winners include Sir Steve Bamidele Omojafor, Chairman, STB-McCann Limited, Mr. Steve Babaeko, Group Chief Executive Officer, X3M Ideas, Dr. Felix King Eiremiokhae, CEO MABISCO/Oracle Experience, Mrs. Nkechi Ali-Balogun, CEO NECCI, Mrs. Bridget Oyefeso-Odusami, Head Marketing & Communications, Stanbic IBTC, Mr. Anthony Chiejina, Chief Brand Officer, Dangote and Mr. Adedayo Ojo, CEO Caritas.


Others are Mr. Rotimi Bankole, CEO SBI Stagwell, Mr. Olugbenga Victor Afolabi, CEO GDM Group, Chief Charles Azu Chijide, CEO Charella Group, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo, Director General Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON), and Mr. John Ehiguese, CEO Mediacraft Limited.

Sir Omojafor, an accomplished marketing and advertising practitioner is unanimously voted The Industry Doyen of Advertising for 2022, the category won by Dr. Biodun Shobanjo last year for 2021 Awards. Omojafor, a former Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc has unarguable accomplishments in a career span over four decades.


Coincidentally, Omojafor would chair this year’s summit, which parades some of the best brains in the industry that would discuss issues in data management and government policy as it affects the manufacturing sector.


In another category, Dr. Eiremiokhae has emerged CEO of the Year in a very keenly contested category. He won the category because of the work has put in to grow and expand Mayor Biscuits Company (MABISCO) during the year under review.


Dr. Eiremiokhae is a renowned integrated marketing communications professional who majors in experiential marketing but branching out to build one of the biggest beverage companies in Nigeria and made extensive strides in such a few years is monumental, said Chairman of the Industry Awards Panel, Ms. Clara Okoro.


In another development, The Industry Lifetime category was renamed ‘The Industry ALL STAR’ and winners emerged after a painstaking evaluation and analysis of each recipient over the course of 10 years and above on their roles in advancing the growth and development of the imc industry.


The winners in this category date back to 2019 which are Mr. Udeme Ufot, GCEO, SO&U, Mr. Nnaemeka Maduegbuna, Chairman, C&F and Mr. Lolu Akinwunmi, Chairman Prima Garnet. 2020 winners are Mr. Jimmy Awosika, Executive Vice Chairman, Troyka Holdings, Chief Yomi Badejo-Okusanya, GCEO, CMC Connect, Mr. Tolu Ogunkoya, RGEO, OMG WeCA and Dr. Eiremiokhae.


The 2021 winners were Mr. Emeka Okeke, CEO Dentsu Mediafuse, Engr. Dozie Mbanefo, CEO New Crystal, Dr. Onyekachi Onubogu, CEO Frutta Juice & Services, Dr. Phil Osagie, CEO JSP Communications, Mr. Kunle Onime, CEO Marketing & Promotion Concepts Limited and Mr. Enyi Odigbo, Chairman, CASERS Group.


According to Ms. Okoro these practitioners were carefully chosen and they represent some of the brightest practitioners who have made a huge impact in the industry and they deserve to be rewarded with this laurel.


“This is the first time the category would be honouring 10 practitioners and there are other categories ranging from corporate, individual, brand and legacy categories,” she added.


Speaking on this year’s event, the convener, Mr. Goddie Ofose stated that despite the several challenges faced by businesses last year, imc organisations have continued to hold their grounds as well as sustain the high standard occasioned by digitalization and technology.


“Professional, individual, corporate and product brands deserve to be celebrated at the time because to whom much is given much is expected.”


The keynote speaker for the 2023 summit is Tolu Ogunkoya of OMG WeCA and co-speaker is Ekuma Eze of Nigerian Bottling Company. Both would be speaking on the papers: Data to Action: How Marketers Can Rationalize Performance Measurement & Drive Efficiencies with Intelligence’ and ‘Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG): Impact of Government Policy Shift on the Industry, Consumers respectively.

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