Jos Stadium Contractor Runs Out Of Cash, Begs Lalong For Funds

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Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State
By; BUHARI B. BELLO, Jos

The BBC Tropical (Nig) Limited, Contractor handling the multi-billion Naira Zaria Road Stadium, Jos is currently begging  Plateau State Government for funds to settle for the roof ordered from Germany last December.

Mr Plaimen Iliave, the Managing Director of the company, who made the call in a chat with  newsmen in Jos, said, “My image is at stake before the German company that we ordered for the stadium’s roof.’’

“I am just pleading with Governor Simon Lalong to keep to his words and release the funds be pledged to give us to import the roof for the VIP area of the uncompleted stadium.

“The Germans are not happy with us for placing an order which we have not been gone to pay for in spite of the short time we place that order.

“If the state government is not ready to released the N1.4 billion it promised us for the little work we are suppose to do for Plateau United Football Club convenience in executing its CAF Championship matches, let them give us the N400M meant for the roof, ’’ the contractor begged.

Illiave decried the laxity and non-seriousness of the Plateau State Government towards the completion of the stadium which “we commenced work on since 2010.’’

The MD disclosed that the last money the firm got from the government was N160 million sometimes last July for the repair/maintenance of the Pitch and construction of the Parking Lot, and that since then it has been one assurance or the other.by

“The Governor visited the stadium on Dec. 4, 2017 with an entourage of over 60 government functionaries including the APC Chairman, Mr Letep Dabang, when he ordered me to go to Germany and speak to firm that manufactures stadium roofs to produce the one for the VIP Area.

“I can’t believe that up till this moment that we talk, the Government is yet to say anything about it. They have even refused to pick our phone calls, ’’ Iliave alleged.

“all our expatriates have been asked to go back to Bulgaria, our home country because there is no money to pay them more so that no work is going on at the stadium.’’

Contacted, the Sports Commissioner, Mr Dalandi Mann described the situation as “very unfortunate’’ but pledged to work on the release of the funds to the contractor as agreed upon.

“Agreed there is snack somewhere, but that does not mean that we are not concern or bothered over the non completion of the stadium.

“In fact, left for us we want the stadium completed in our first year in office considering its importance to us, but for the lack of funds, we have no option but to keep looking for means to achieve that at all cost, ’’ the commissioner stated.

Mann who said that non picking of phone calls were not deliberate, he expressed regret over the stein relationship between the contractor and the German firm over the roof saga.

“Plateau government will do all it could to remedy the situation particularly the image of our contractor before the Germans  as well as make sure Plateau United play all its continental matches in the stadium, ’’ Mann further pledged.

However, the state owned football team, Plateau United Football Club may not begin their campaign in the 2018 CAF Champions League on home ground in Jos.

This is because hopes of completing the Zaria Road Stadium, which is the approved home ground, appear to be fading fast as non-release of funds have been hampering the stadium’s completion.

Plateau United had played their home matches at the Rwang Pam Stadium on their way to winning the 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) title.

That success had earned them the ticket to play in the 2018 CAF Champions League.

However, the competition’s organisers, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), has not approved usage of the Rwang Pam Stadium for the competition.

But, the Zaria Road Stadium, which has since the late 80s been under construction and abandoned by successive administrations in Plateau, fits the bill for such international matches if completed.

Unfortunately, the hopes which were raised by the interest earlier shown in the stadium’s completion by the Simon Lalong administration in the state now seem to getting dashed.

This is because non-release of funds seems to have put the project’s completion on hold.

BBC Nigeria Limited, the contractor handling the multi-billion Naira Zaria Road Stadium, seems frustrated and perplexed as the failure to get funds released has hampered the job.

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