Nigeria’s senior men and women’s basketball teams due to depart from Tokyo Japan on Monday from their training base in USA have been saved the embarrassment of competing at the Olympic Games with old kits.
After several months that sportswear and equipment donated to the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) by its China-based sponsors arrived Apapa port in Lagos, the items have finally been cleared and now in custody of officials of the federation.
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare’s intervention secured the release of the basketball kits to the NBBF from Apapa wharf.
Dare had taken the matter to the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and as well as the Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service, asking for waiver to clear the items meant for athletes on national duties.
It was understood that delay in documentation to get the waiver by NBBF officials kept the items at the port.
The Caretaker Chairman of the NBBF, Musa Kida, confirmed the release of the items late yesterday.
He thanked the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed and the Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali for making the release of the kits possible.
It was not the first time that kits and equipment donated to cash strapped national sports federations get stuck at the ports.
Back in 2016, Team Nigeria athletes to the Rio Olympiad only received their kits for the Games on Day 13 after most of them had finished their events.