The government has set aside Shs30 billion, this financial year for the refurbishment of Nelson Mandela National Stadium (Namboole).
This was revealed on Thursday by the Ministry of Education and Sports spokesperson, Dennis Mugimba during a press briefing at Uganda Media Centre.
The stadium which has been home to the national football team, Uganda Cranes, was disqualified by Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) and Confederation of African Football (CAF) from hosting international games over failure to meet the required standards.
The iconic stadium had since been turned into a Covid-19 facilitation centre.
However, Mugimba announced on Thursday that the education ministry has agreed to a partnership with Ministry of Works to begin renovation works on the 40,000-seater stadium to make it eligible for hosting sports activities again.
“As you all know, Mandela National Stadium is a national landmark for sports. So, we worked with Ministry of Works and came up with estimates of improving standards at Namboole. It was estimated at around Shs97bn. We embarked on this exercise last year. Government has set aside Shs30bn this financial year to begin renovating and restoring Namboole National Stadium in a phased manner” Mugimba said.
According to Mugimba, the Shs30bn allocated this year will cover different areas including renovating the playing surface , working on floodlights, gates, CCTV system, medical rooms, dressing rooms, toilet rooms and officials area.
“The target for this initial Shs30bn is to restore Namboole to usable state because right now, the international sports associations are not allowing us to use Namboole because of the shape that it is in”
Since Namboole’s ban, Uganda had opted to using St Mary’s Kitende Stadium to host international games with the facility expected to host the all the Cranes’ 2022 World Cup Qualifiers matches.
The Kitende-based stadium previously hosted the Cranes’ home encounter with Mali, which ended in 0-0 stalemate.