Blantyre City South legislator Noel Lipipa has hailed government for the progress made in the stadia project for domestic football powerhouses—Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers.
The Democratic Progressive Party parliamentarian said this in his contribution to the revised 2019/20 National Budget which was passed on Thursday.
“We are pleased to note that the designs of the stadiums have been completed and we hope construction will begin soon,” he said.
Lipipa, who is also a Bullets sales and marketing director, described the projects as the right direction to take “because it will help in revenue collection for government”.
Said the former Bullets chairperson: “It shows the commitment to develop football in this country. It should not be seen as expenditure, but rather an investment because, eventually, government will recover its money through Sports Council.
“We should not take sports as a luxury, but a big business.
“Most of our fellow African countries are earning a lot. For example, some footballers in the [English] Premier League are earning up to 100 000 pounds a month and a good example is Liverpool’s Sadio Mane who earns 5.2 million pounds a year and imagine if we had Malawian players playing at that level, we would surely benefit in terms of forex,” he said.
Lipipa also asked the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to consider netball teams when constructing stadiums for football teams.
Last week, the ministry’s spokesperson Simon Mbvundula said the Department of Buildings has finalised the designs and was working on structural drawings to come up with the bill of quantities.
“The expectation is that by March, we should have advertised for contractors to bid for the projects,” he said.
President Peter Mutharika pledged to construct stadia for the two teams during the campaign for May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
In the 2019/20 National Budget, government allocated K1.6 billion (K800 million each) for the projects.