The House of Representatives’ Committee on sports on Thursday summoned the embattled former president of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Musa Kida to appear before it to explain how a whopping N1.594billion of the taxpayers money released to NBBF through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development were spent.
The decision was sequel to the clarification made to the committee on sports by the minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare, over alleged misappropriation of N1b approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for the senior women national team, D’Tigress.
Contrary to the allegation, the minister told Hon. Olumide Osoba-led committee that the N1 billion approved by President Muhammadu Buhari was solely for the men’s team, D’Tigers, as requested by the Ministry.
“The former Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, wrote Mr. President asking for Intervention Funding for Nigeria’s Male Basketball Team (D’Tigers) for the hosting of the FIBA African Group F World Cup qualifiers in Lagos in 2019, as well as to enable the National Men’s Basketball Team (D’Tigers) participate in four (4) programmes as qualifying tournaments for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in the sum of N1,091,996,190 (One billion, Ninety-One million, Nine Hundred and Ninety-Six thousand, One Hundred and Ninety naira only).
“In May, 2019, the FMYSD wrote the Honourable Minister of Finance a reminder on the payment of the outstanding N1,091,996,190 to the Male Basketball Team and approved the release of N1bn in August, 2019, but charged it to the 2019 Appropriation to the Servicewide Vote for International Sporting Competitions of the FMYSD, which meant that the N1b intervention was to be taken from the Ministry’s 2019 budget (no longer intervention).
“As a result of this, a meeting was held between FMYSD and NBBF, at the instance of the Honourable Minister. Following the meeting held with the President of the NBBF, it was resolved that N850million of the N1billion be released to the NBBF, so as not to impact negatively on the other programmes of the Ministry, while the balance was expended on other sub-head items of the Votehead of the Ministry from which budget the money was taken.
“Following the decisions reached at the above referenced meeting, FMYSD released the sum of N850million to NBBF in August, 2019.
“Having sorted out the outstanding debts to the Male Team to a large extent, on 3rd September, 2019, the Honourable Minister wrote to Mr. President requesting for the outstanding allowances of the Female Basketball Team (D’ Tigress). These included the 2017 and 2019 Afro Basketball Championships as well as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifiers. In the letter, FMYSD acknowledged the earlier release of N1billion for the Men’s Team and also requested for the approval of the sum of N1,626,985,496, to offset the above-stated liabilities to the Women’s Team and their Olympic qualifications.
This request was informed by the 19 August, 2019 letter from NBBF detailing the liabilities due to the D’Tigress, which was to the tune of N1,675,402,600 for the Women Basketball Team’s for preparation and participation in the 2017 and 2019 Afro Basketball Championships, 2018 FIBA Women World Cup and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In May 2021, the Ministry of Finance released the sum of 744m directly to NBBF as an intervention fund from the N1,626,985,496 requested for the female basket team,” Minister said.
The chairman of the committee on sports, Hon. Olumide Osoba and his members who were satisfied with the explanation and facts presented to them by the minister, resolved that NBBF should appear before them within two weeks to explain how the taxpayer’s money given to them were spent.