Damilola Aina, Abuja
Daily Courier – Following the unending crises rocking the Nigerian Basketball federation, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the withdrawal of Nigeria from all international basketball competitions for a period of two years with immediate effect.
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, disclosed the development in a statement issued on Thursday.
Dare, represented by Ismaila Abubakar, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, said a committee would be set up to oversee basketball leagues in the country.
“President Buhari has approved the withdrawal of Nigeria from all international basketball competitions for a period of two years, this is with immediate effect,” he said.
The Minister added that the withdrawal of Nigeria is to concentrate efforts by government towards revamping the sport from the grassroots as well as domestic leagues which have become moribund.
“This will also allow for the setting up of an Interim Management Committee (IMC) to oversee the management and development of the domestic basketball leagues in Nigeria,” he said.
Dare also said this will further address other related issues around the development and advancement of the game in Nigeria.
He then called on stakeholders to help sustain and stabilise the game.
“In issuing the order, the Federal Government reiterates its interest and commitment to the development of the sport of basketball in Nigeria as well as huge talents of our youth domestically in an atmosphere free of rancour and squabbles.
“Government therefore calls on players, officials, fans and other stakeholders of the sport to remain calm as it embarks on far-reaching initiatives to reposition, sustain and stabilise the game of basketball.
“This will aid in the growth and success of the sport in the long-term interest of the country,” the Minister said.
Daily Courier reports that the basketball sport has been engulfed in leadership crisis in the last five years with two parallel national federation board elections held in 2017 (in Kano and Abuja) and 2022 (in Benin and Abuja), leading to the emergence of separate governing bodies.