The plan for the Stadium was first considered in 1953 by Nigeria’s Olympic Committee. In 1955, the federal government took the first step towards achieving this target by making a grant of 30,000GBP to the Olympics Committee to purchase (through the Lagos Executive Development Board, as it was called in those days) 78 acres of land in Surulere for the facility. By 1956 a Stadium Board of Management was formed for formulation, execution and management of the facility.
Messrs. Mence Moore & Mort got the nod to design the facility in 1961. Following the completion of the design in 1963, the Federal Ministry of Works was directed by the government to supervise the construction. Not much happened on the facility until 1967 when Nigeria was picked as host of the Second All-Africa Games and a decision to complete the project received considerable boost therefrom.
Following this push, the federal government in October 1969, signed a contract with Messrs. Cappa & D’Alberto for 1,094,641,12GBP, as the main contractors, for construction of the second phase of the project.