Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says the Real Madrid Football Academy in the state will be completed in August this year.
This will enable the Academy to start full academic activities in September.
The new deadline is predicated on the fact that the contractors claimed to have lost 28 days because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement by Paulinus Nsirim, Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, disclosed that Governor Wike extended the completion date when he visited the project site of the Academy at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Elekahia, Port Harcourt, on Thursday, June 11, 2020, to inspect the extent of work done.
Speaking to journalists, Governor Wike said the academy would become operational in September when the new academic session begins.
He emphasised that the contractors would have no reason to delay completion of the project beyond August 2020 because the State Government would fulfil her financial obligation.
The governor noted that the pitches and the administrative offices are ready but the academy cannot commence activities without the completion of the hostels and the classrooms that would be used by the students.
He said the Academy is a world class football development program which also gives students the opportunity to develop academically. After their time at the academy, students who wouldn’t pursue a career playing football would have the chance to continue with their academics or pursue careers in other aspects of football management which will be taught at the Academy.
According to him, the aspect of academics activities is as important as the football training in order to give Rivers youths admitted into the institution a more holistic career path.
He equally expressed satisfaction with the quality of work by the contractor and urged him to redouble his effort to meet the deadline.
Speaking on behalf of the contracting firm, Mr. Julien Kan, Project Manager SPG Construction Nig Ltd, assured the governor that the project would be delivered on schedule.
The Governor was accompanied by the Rivers State State Commissioner for Sports, Mr Boma Iyaye and the Special Adviser on Real Madrid Academy, Barr Christopher Green.