The Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN) on Monday said plans had been perfected to ensure the certification of the velodrome at the Abuja National Stadium by the Union Cycling Federation (UCF).
The CFN President, Giandomenico Massari, in a statement in Abuja, said the velodrome’s proposed certification was part of his administration’s effort to develop the sport in Nigeria.
Massari described the velodrome as “a state-of-the-art infrastructure which has been left fallow for about 14 years’’.
He said it was regrettable that the Abuja velodrome which was the only one in Africa and one of the best in the world had been left in such a pitiable state.
“The velodrome was built in 2003. Since then, it has not been used for the purpose it was built for.
“Over the years, we have been making all efforts to ensure that the velodrome was certified, because its certification will be a very big boost for cycling in Nigeria,’’ the CFN president said.
Massari said a lot of activities could be generated once the velodrome was certified.
He however said what was delaying the certification process was the removal of the cooking stoves which were stored in the velodrome by some government officials.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the stoves, in hundreds of thousands were allegedly purchased as election gifts by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign team.
They have however been abandoned in the velodrome for close to three years.
NAN found out that the development which led to the stoves being abandoned had become a subject of litigation since then.
A court injunction had since then stalled moves to remove the stoves from the velodrome.
Massari however said that with the recent lifting of the court injunction, the stoves would be removed and some minor repairs would be carried out in the velodrome.
“These repairs will help us to bring it up to the required standard for certification.
“Also, before 2006, internal barrier was not a requirement for accreditation by the UCF, hence the need for the minor repairs.
“But the velodrome is okay. It was built with standard facilities and it is up to specification,” he said.
Massari said once the stoves were removed, the federation would raise funds immediately to ensure the certification.
He said the UCF had assured the federation that within two weeks the velodrume would be certified if the internal barriers were put in place.
“Once it is certified, they (UCF) have already told us that they can award Nigeria the hosting right of the 2018 African Championship.
“This will be a boost for the country, because with that many other events will come to Nigeria. Even some international events can be organised in the velodrume,’’ the NCF president said.