Nigeria’s Women basketball team have rejected a proposed part payment of owed monies by the Ministry of Sports, after crying out to the world over neglect by the Sports Ministry.
Nigeria’s women basketball team in a fresh statement released on Thursday 14th October 2021, which is a reply to the statement issued by the Ministry of Sports on Wednesday, stated that they will not accept part payment and will not leave anyone behind.
They also issued fresh new demands going forward.
The statement as released on their official social media handle on Thursday reads:
“It is incredibly sad that we have to take these measures for things we shouldn’t fight for, for it to be addressed. We are glad we have the support of our fans, friends, family, pundits and some leadership around the world to bring awareness to what has plagued not only Nigeria but Africa in general.
We thank the Ministry for their swift response, but respectfully decline part payment of monies owed to every member of D’Tigress since 2018 FIBA WOMEN’S WOLRD CUP (players, officials, behind the scenes staff, vendor etc.) We are a team and will leave no one behind.
The ministry is the Governing body of Nigerian Sports and needs to hold BBBF former President accountable or take responsibility. We also urge the Special Adviersrs of His Excellency. H. E President Muhammadu Buhari to bring this awareness to H.E and trigger our celebratory visit to Aso Rock. The rest of our demands and requests on our original interview and document must be discussed move forward and hopefully, we can come to a common ground.
These include but not limited to :
(1). Total Amount owed,
(2). Improve Travel Condition,
(3). Hiring a General Manager.
These 3 conditions are non-negotiable.
We are open to a seat down conversation at the appropriate time, all communications are directed to our captain Adaora Elonu,” the statement added.
The Statement Released By The Ministry Of Sports Over Owed Monies To Nigeria’s Women Basketball team?
The ministry of youth and sports development released a statement on Wednesday debunking the claims that it diverted funds.
The statement reads:
“ The monies are intact in the Nigeria Basketball Federation’s (NBBF) official domiciliary account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).”
The statement added that the funds, however, have not been disbursed because members of D’Tigers are yet to provide their account numbers “so that the processing of payments can be one-off as requested by the CBN.”
“The $230,000 donated to the Basketball teams by the Banks under the Adopt-a-Team programme of the Ministry is intact in the Nigeria Basketball Federation’s (NBBF) official domiciliary account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” read the statement signed by Ismaila Abubakar, the permanent secretary of the ministry.
“That only the 12 female Team members of D’Tigress have supplied their foreign account numbers. The Ministry waited for the account numbers of the Male Team to be supplied so that the processing of payments can be one-off as requested by the CBN.
“The Ministry has requested the CBN to commence the processing of the payment to the Female Basketball Players immediately. The Male will be paid as soon as their account details are supplied.
“Ministry wishes to state further that all outstanding -Olympics and Paralympics Games allowances and bonuses are being processed and only slowed down by funds availability. Furthermore, the Ministry of Finance has been fully furnished with details of the outstanding allowances and payments due to the NBBF, and the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF) and efforts are being made to secure the release.”
What Nigeria’s Women basketball team said that started The Whole Drama?
The Nigerian basketball team who are the reigning African Champions and fresh from their historic feat of winning three consecutive FIBA Afrobasket titles, broke their silence on Tuesday about their owed monies. As part of their grievances, the basketballers say they are being owed allowances and bonuses.
In a video posted on all their official social media handles, the women outlined the injustices that have been allegedly perpetrated on them by the outgoing board of the NBBF, led by Musa Kida.
The women, who have vowed to boycott the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, have listed the conditions that would make them rescind their threat.
They ask for the payment of the backlog of their bonuses and allowances, an improved welfare package, and to be honoured by the Nigerian presidency for doing the country proud.
The ladies wonder why their historic feat of winning three straight African titles has not warranted being invited to Aso Rock even if it is only for the ceremonial presidential handshake.
A member of the D’Tigress, Promise Amukamara, faulted the claims by the Kida-led NBBF that the team is not being owed any monies.
She said: “This is far from the truth, last time we checked, our allowances stipends, bonuses, training grants, and donations made by banks for players, officials, and volunteers have still not been paid.
Another member of the team, Ify Ibekwe, outlined the monies they are owed.
She said: “We are owed $73,118 by the NBBF, $24,000 by the Ministry for the Tokyo grant, and $100,000 donation from three banks in Nigeria.”
For Ezinne Kalu, she stated that since their General Manager and Team Manager resigned, “they are being marginalised.”
She said “the outgoing president never really shows up in camp and competitions” to boost their morale and when they have significant issues that make him present, “he only provides vague answers like our concerns are not important to him.”
“Musa Kida was not in Cameroon but somehow he showed up in Abuja for pictures and political gains,” she said.
The D’Tigress also opened up on the many avoidable distractions that led to their poor outing at the Tokyo Olympics.
The women said that unless their grievances are fully attended to, they would be boycotting the World Cup Qualifiers.