The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, managed by Sunday Dare, has refuted charges that its personnel transferred cash intended for the D’Tigres, Nigeria’s women’s basketball team, insisting the funds are secure with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The sports ministry’s denial comes after players from the D’Tigress team released a video stating they were due nearly $200,000 dating back to 2018 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The players in the video stated that they will not play any more games for the national team, including FIBA world cup qualifiers, until their outstanding allowances are paid.
The players, who demanded that their bonuses and allowances be paid on time, that their welfare package be improved, and that they be honored by the Nigerian president for doing the country proud, questioned why their historic feat of winning three consecutive African titles had not earned them an invitation to Aso Rock, even if it was only for a ceremonial presidential handshake.
Ify Ibekwe, a member of the team, detailed the amounts owed to them.
“The NBBF owes us $73,118, the Ministry owes us $24,000 for the Tokyo grant, and three Nigerian banks owe us $100,000,” she claimed.
The Sports Ministry issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon, October 13, denying that money meant for the girls had been diverted.
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has refuted charges that its officials pooled money contributed to the Men and Women Basketball Teams ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in a press release that was widely circulated in the media and in a video clip.
“The Ministry would like to clarify the following points: 1.The $230,000 contributed to the teams by the banks under the Ministry’s Adopt-a-Team initiative is still in the NBBF’s official domiciliary account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“2.Only D’Tigress’s 12 female Team members have provided their foreign account numbers. The Ministry awaited the Male Team’s account details in order to handle payments in a one-time manner, as requested by the CBN.”
“3.The Ministry has requested that the CBN complete the payment to the female basketball players as soon as possible. As soon as the Male’s account information is provided, they will be paid.”
“4. The Ministry would also like to note that all outstanding -Olympics and Paralympics Games allowances and bonuses are being processed, with money availability being the sole stumbling block.
Additionally, the Ministry of Finance has been fully informed of the outstanding allowances and payments owed to the NBBF and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), and efforts are on to ensure their release. FMYSD Permanent Secretary Ismaila Abubakar
Watch the video of the players below
In taking a stand, I join @DtigressNG. Let us stand with them till their demands are met by the NBBF&Ministry.
Allowances and bonuses totaled $73118.
$24,000 Three banks donated $100,000 to the Ministry of Tokyo.
Reception hosted by the President