This came after the management of the national stadium presented their financial and activity reports for the Assembly’s scrutiny, urging lawmakers to press the government to provide a bailout of 15 million dalasi for the reconstruction of the stadium and the hostel.
Speaker of the House, Abdoulie Bojang, while proposing for the Assembly to defer the adoption of the report, recommended that a stakeholder forum should be convened to fashion out ways of fixing the crisis that grips the national stadium.
He added: “We have visited the Independence Stadium and the Friendship Hostel. They’re in poor conditions and need to be refurbished. The management alone cannot handle the situation of the Independence Stadium and Friendship Hostel. The Ministry of Youth and Sports doesn’t have the capacity to raise the standard of one component of the stadium, along with the Friendship Hostel.”
Meanwhile, according to the report that was presented to the Assembly on Thursday, the management had previously urged the lawmakers to prevail on the government to fund a 12 million bailout package last year.
It is understood that the joint committee on public accounts and public enterprises had recommended that the government provide the bailout, which would also include paying off the stadium’s debts.
However, Thursday’s plenary saw the management of the stadium increase that amount to 15 million. The report also stated that the stadium’s toilets alone have not had any refurbishment since its establishment.
The Independence Stadium and Friendship Hostel were built by the Chinese government in 1983 and completed in 1984, through a grant to the government of The Gambia. The project was made necessary with the objective of catering for the growing needs of young people involved in sporting activities and to give opportunity to those involved in sports to host international and local competitions, boarding and lodging facilities to teams, youth groups and for visiting tourist.
In a separate development, the Gambia National Library Services Authority yesterday presented its activity and financial reports for the year 2013 to the National Assembly. The reports, which were presented by the director general and financial accountant of the institution, respectively, contained the activities and finances of the institution in the year under review. The lawmakers will scrutinise and possibly adopt the reports today.]]>