… A response to KIDA’S claims on NBBF funds


It’s a universally accepted truism that the lies we tell other people are nothing compared to the lies we tell ourselves. Indeed, the attention of sports-loving Nigerians has been to recent claims by the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) President, Mr Musa Kida, which has proven to be inconsistent with the real facts and credible information available to stakeholders in the sport.

We are all aware of the frustration caused by the poor management of NBBF under Kida, especially by the female National team, D’Tigress, and sports lovers during the recent competition in Cameroon, due to the refusal to release funds to the squad even after they had been long mobilized with sufficient funds to ensure effective representation of Nigeria at the tournament and running of the sector.

In every sport, funds released to the sector are meant to be utilized judiciously and prudently without any form of bias, misappropriation, or self-centeredness. This has not been the case with NBBF Boss, Engineer Kida who sidelined and relegated a performing National team like D’Tigress by denying them what rightly belongs to them as a team.

Kida, who had been long silent, unconcerned, and detached on the matter, recently gave a reply but his defense has proven quite inconsistent and only helped to reveal all the lapses created by the present NBBF leadership.

To say it straight, Kida’s response has proven to be a simple and poor attempt at escaping public scrutiny. The big question is: “Why should funds allocated to the federation not be used to service the National female team like D’Tigress”?

We can recall that the former Sports Minister Solomon Dalung made a submission on this matter because as a former serving minister, he had authentic records and can only cry foul when he sees the contrary. Kida has made attempt to debunk those facts but having listened to the videos posted by D’Tigress, one can see a lot of loopholes in Kida’s argument, but that is a story for another day. Truth is that THE FACTS CANNOT LIE

We recall that over one billion was released earlier in 2019 and then recently 774 million Naira was released to the Federation before the tournament but the female basketball team was never considered in any of this fund release but was rather relegated to the background after their labor and hard work to help secure the trophy and glory for Nigeria.

One would have thought that as an experienced Sports administrator, Kida should have used his good office to promptly intervene in the financial crises of the sector and save the FG and the sector from a bad image but Instead, he was missing in action though there are claims that he was down with COVID-19. However, it was rather shocking to see how the same man suddenly re-surfaced at the trophy presentation by the representatives of the basketball female team.

Well, it is apt to say that the central factor here is that Kida and his leadership team cannot deny the fact that they lack accountability in what is committed into their hands to service the Federation. Insisting that funds sent to the NBBF are mainly for one segment is an issue of great misuse and obvious neglect of the female representatives and there is nothing to defend as NBBF’s present leadership has proven to be incompetent, self-centered, and unaccountable to anyone. There has indeed been very poor accountability and the Ministry of Youths and Sports has to do something about that.

If Kida has held onto the claims that all these billions were only assigned to the male team. How about the $230,000 which is approximately 115 million Naira also sent to the girls as donations? Why were they also denied that money and several other support funds from multinationals? We can’t continue this way and expect drastic growth within the sector.

Every growth is powered by selfless leadership and great commitment. If we must grow and indeed stand tall as the giant of Africa, then we must change our leadership mindset and elect the right persons to positions of leadership.

We want to call on leaders of all Sports Federations to live up to expectations so as to give hope to the upcoming generation. Another federation election is here and it will be wise for us to choose a man who represents the interest of hardworking athletes to ensure our real growth unto greatness is achieved.

 – MAGNUS OKU writes from Lagos, Nigeria

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