By Andy Esiet
The U. J. Esuene stadium in Calabar, Cross River state has been cut off from the national grid for 13 years running.
The Chairman of the State Sports Commission, Otuekong Orok Duke said, “you know we are barely two years old in office. We came and inherited a situation were there is no public supply of power in U.J. Esuene stadium. It was not just power, we stayed for seven years without water. So we manage to bring in public supply of water and manage to sink a bore hole. We have water now but for electricity we do not have. We are just depending on the generators.
On why the situation is like that, he said “we came and inherited it and we discovered that 150mm amour cables were burnt and we need a new transformer. We have written severally to relevant bodies and agencies but we don’t know what is happening. For now we are just surviving with the three generators (two 500 kva and one 1,000kva) that we had since Nigeria ‘99 Junior World Cup. Those are the generators that served us during the carnival.
On the new looks at the stadium, he said “we got support from friends and associates like Usen Umoh of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star. In all we put together N28 million to build the table tennis hall through direct labour and this is a hall we were given a quotation of N220million from a consultant but we built it with only N28m.
On, the taraflex floor, we were given a quotation of N23m but we went on internet and bought it for under N3m plus installation. We moved on to renovate the squash court, café, volley ball court, and weight lifting and wrestling venue. By next week, we are going to demolish the defective structures that are still standing because we have been given the latitude to reposition sports.