The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, met with the Executive Board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation led by Musa Kida in Abuja on Monday.
The meeting, according to the spokesman for the NBBF Board, Afolabi Oni, “is part of the ongoing drive by the Minister to get all federations on the same page ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.”
Preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and training plan for the male basketball team D’Tigers, who have secured a ticket and the women’s team D’Tigress, with three more games in the qualifiers were discussed at the meeting.
“There were also discussions on NBBF’s financial situation with a view to exploring new funding options as well as a report submitted by NBBF in response to a request by the ministry,” stressed Oni.
Dare expressed excitement over the qualification of the D’Tigers for the Olympics and pledged the ministry’s support towards NBBF’s preparation for the games.
According to Dare, “Nigerians are now beginning to take note of the excellent performance of the various basketball teams and are eager for more.”
While addressing the board members present, the Minister tasked the Musa Kida led federation to double their efforts to achieve more successes on the international stage.
In his response, the NBBF President thanked the minister for his support throughout the World Cup in China while expressing gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his support.
“We are glad that the president of Nigeria watched the games on TV and took time out of his busy schedule to congratulate the men’s team after their qualification for the Olympics as well as the 2019 FIBA Afrobasket winning feat of the D’Tigress in Senegal,” observed Kida.
The NBBF Board reminded the minister about the women’s qualifiers for the Olympics starting in November.
He said the various leagues were on course while announcing the commencement of the men’s Premier League in October which will enable Nigeria to present a team for the newly introduced FIBA Africa/NBA African championship.
Kida also presented the award from FIBA as the most improved women’s team at the FIBA world Congress in China.
In attendance at the meeting with the meeting with the minister were the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr Olusade Adesola, Mr Babs Ogunade (NBBF Vice President), Col Sam Ahmedu (rtd), Mr Felix Awogu, Alhaji Abba Kaka alongside top directors of the ministry.