Being a sports lover, especially football and basketball which are also favourites of millions across the world, it has been my greatest wish to see the growth of these globally lucrative games in Nigeria not only as a means of social development but also as a great source of revenue for the country.
I believe with an excellent management structure in place these sporting activities can attract youngsters with amazing potential and talents whose skills and brilliance are sadly being wasted daily in many dangerous and irrelevant aspects of life.
Truth be told, it has never been that most of the young lads who turn bad do so to fulfill some certain curious aspirations. It is usually because they are knocked down by the avalanche of encumbrances present in various spaces of human endeavours where their potentials could have been nurtured to greatness and maximum use.
That is why one will continue to marvel and hold most of the Western nations in high regard. They are masters in human development and capacity building; and the aspect of proper governance, both in private and public sectors, remains a standard in best practices.
Instructively, in acknowledging the importance of sports development, just as much funds and human resources deployed to the growth of education in countries such as the UK and US are equally expended on the advancement of many sporting activities by these countries. And as expected from many well-articulated plans, the efforts are producing tremendous gains for those nations in several significant fronts.
Presently, the globally-renowned British football star, David Beckham and other British sports icons are not just contributing millions of pounds in revenue to their home country, several of them even in retirement are also goodwill ambassadors for global causes and mentors to millions of youths across the world.
There are also numerous and highly reputable names from the world of sports in the US who have become millers of humongous greenbacks for the US economy, and are also supporting the country to nurture more talents for overall progress.
In the same way, some African countries like South Africa and Ghana, amongst a few others, cannot be left out in their tested commitment to unravel the inherent talents in their citizens and make the best out of the capacities of those that can serve excellently in the world of sports.
Therefore, one cannot but ponder why Nigeria hasn’t gotten it right even with the abundance of untapped potentials and resources that the country is endowed with.
Quite disturbing it is to note that the absence of good planning and failure of leadership which has been a major constraint in Nigeria’s journey to greatness has refused to vanish.
And uninspiringly, the reluctant scourge, a regular feature in the affairs of government, is gradually moving to situate firmly in the nation’s sports administration and corporate environment. Certainly, such absurdity should call for concern from every discerning member of the society.
The fallout of the recent election into the board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), which has deepened factions within the ranks of the Nigerian basketball governing body, poses a grave threat to the promise the sport holds for the economy and the talents to be developed on its platform.
Since the statement by the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, an observer at the election, of the emergence of Engr. Musa Kida, former Chairman of the Rivers State Basketball Association, as the new President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), there have been some dissenting voices on the democratic exercise of the stakeholders of the body.
Assuming that such differing opinions are not absolutely alien in most associations of human beings, but forming a parallel entity to challenge the authority of the newly elected Kida-led NBBF board is only typical of the ugly development which has perpetually kept the country on the back foot on many fronts.
So to say the least, Kida, whose leadership at Rivers association was widely described as stellar and has continued to make laudable strides as a top engineer in one of the global oil corporations, has really got his job cut out for him as the new head of NBBF.
However, as NBBF now appears like the reputable administrator’s tall order, it’s high time Kida walked the talk he made in the run up to his election that his presidency will unite the NBBF and bring all the members of the federation as one family for effective coordination and development of the sports. Realising this lofty objective will certainly etch his name in the annals of meritorious achievers in the world of sports development in this Nigeria.
Additionally, the Kida-led NBBF must know that the issue of welfare of basketball players, both male and female, is still very critical; and proper arrangement for matches and related activities should be accorded adequate attention. And as technology has continued to play a significant role in our daily life and amongst the people in sports, it is hoped that Kida and his board will churn out innovations that will enable effective communication around the sport and engagements with relevant interests in the country and beyond.