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Tuesday, January 4, 2022

NBBF crisis lingers on as D’Tigress demand full payment of owed monies

… Reps summon former president Kida over debacle

… Dare cleared … Dare given clean bill of health

The crisis rocking the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) seems to remain unsolved as the female national team, D’Tigress have vowed to press on their demands in getting the allowances, bonuses owed them are paid.

The Afrobasket champions have now rejected any form of part payment of their owed allowances and salaries as muted by the stakeholders.

The team speaking on Arise TV and monitored by our correspondent said they are demanding the $230,000 (N95m) owed them since 2018 are paid in one tranche while sticking to their threat to boycott the upcoming World Cup qualifiers if their demands are not met.

“We have made it clear that we will not be collecting partial payment. We are still very much open as a team to receive presidential reception at the Aso Rock. The allowances owed since 2018 involves others who are not part of the team now. It won’t be fair for us to receive this year allowances and leave out 2018, 2019,” Forward Adaora Elonu said.

Also speaking, Guard, Ezinne Kalu is urging the ministry to hold the NBBF former president, Musa Kida accountable.

“We want the ministry to hold Kida accountable to pay us. we are being take advantage of. We are not getting the support we need from those owing us,” she said.

The team further denied being used as political pawns as stated by President of FIBA Africa zone 3 Rtd Col Sam Ahmedu who was a member of the NBBF board.

“We can’t control what people will think. But no one is controlling our team. When we protested in the past, no one said we were approached but now the cameras and eyes are on us for coming out, there are now allegations of being approached. Our team has always been together as the money has accumulated so much,” power forward, Atonye Nyingifa said.

Meanwhile, House Committee on Sports led by its chairman, Honourable Olumide Osoba has summoned former NBBF President, Engineer Musa Kida to appear before it within two weeks.

The summon came after the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare had appeared before the committee to shed more light on allowances of the D’Tigress, payments made to the NBBF and the doping allegations against some Team Nigeria athletes to the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

In his report about the doping allegations, Dare corrected an erroneous impression that many had by clearing the notion that the athletes were not guilty of doping or taking any form of illegal, performance enhancing substance.

“The Athletes were required to take three out of competition tests at 3 weeks intervals which of course they did but took it a week earlier, and that was why they were not allowed to participate in the Olympics. It should also be noted that, these ten athletes were not banned from participating in the Olympics but were ineligible to compete due to their missing the mandatory out-of-competition tests at the appropriate times,” Dare said.

On the allowances of D’Tigress, it was through the adopt-an-athlete initiative of the Minister that the sum of Two Hundred  and Thirty Thousand Dollars($230,000) was raised from a group of Banks for the D’Tigress and D’Tigers. This money came in during the Olympics and was deposited into the NBBF’s CBN account.

According to the Minister, “we issued a statement regarding the $230,000 and on return from Olympics the players of both teams were asked to submit their account details so the CBN could process the payment at once, as we speak, we have only details of the female team; D’Tigress and none of D’Tigers obliged to this.

“Prior to now, the CBN have been instructed to process payment of the 12 female team members as first trench payment.

“The Process for the payment for D’Tigress is in place and near completion, the money is intact in the CBN account as CBN has provided statement of account to prove that the $230,000 NBBF fund was not misappropriated.”

According to one of the members of the Committee, Honourable Dachung Musa, representing Jos South/ Jos East Federal consistency, the committee was satisfied with the minister’s position and cleared him of any wrongdoing.

“We are satisfied now that you have provided the right information, especially the fact that our athletes were not banned or found guilty of taking illegal substances. I will dare to say, information is key in portraying the good image of our dear country,” he said.

I'm an avid and seasoned sports/ multimedia journalist. I have a biased love for Real Madrid and passionate advocate for the overall growth of the Nigeria Sports Project. I can be reached on 09077894123 or/and '[email protected]'

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