… Girls will be paid what I promised them – Kida
… Leave Umar out of Kida’s ordeal – Skambo
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has blamed the non-payment of D’Tigress 2020 Tokyo Olympics allowances and bonuses on the failure of D’Tigers players to provide their account details.
In yesterday’s press statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ismaila Abubakar, the ministry revealed that it had planned to pay both teams at once after their appearance at the Tokyo Olympics Games.
It will be recalled that some key members of D’Tigress on Tuesday accused the outgoing Nigeria Basketball Federation board led by Engr Musa Kida of injustice as well as non-payment of their allowances and bonuses.
The aggrieved D’Tigress took to twitter to demand the payment of the backlog of their bonuses and allowances, an improved welfare package, and to be honoured by President Muhammadu Buhari for making the country proud.
One of the players, Ify Ibekwe said “We are owed $73,118 by the NBBF, $24,000 by the Ministry for the Tokyo grant, and $100,000 donation from three banks in Nigeria.”
“Only the 12 female Team members of D’Tigress have supplied their foreign account numbers. The Ministry waited for the account numbers of the Male Team to be supplied so that the processing of payments can be one off as requested by the CBN,” the statement said.
The ministry also said none of its staff shared the money donated to the national basketball teams by three commercial banks in the country. “The $230,000 Dollars donated to the Basketball teams by the Banks under the Adopt-a-Team programme of the Ministry is intact in the Nigeria Basketball Federation’s (NBBF) official domiciliary account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)”.
Following the protest by the female players, the Ministry said it has requested that the CBN commence the processing of the payment to the female basketball players immediately while their male counterparts will be paid as soon as their account details are provided.
In an exclusive chat with Kida, the embattled NBBF chieftain said the girls will be paid the money once he is paid.
He said “The statement from the ministry answers your question and I don’t have any other answer but I have told them once I get completely paid, I will pay them their money,” he concluded.
Contrary to the belief in some quarters that protest by the girls is politically motivated, a former D’Tigers player, Pastor Skambo Morrison said the agitation from the girls is not sponsored by former president, Tijani Umar.
“There is nothing political in this case. Umar can never instigate anything because that is not his kind of person. If it was to be a political thing, Umar could have used his position as the Permanent Secretary in the Presidential Villa to clear this but he wanted the due process to be observed.
“All what the girls have said is true and that is what is happening. A promise is a debt on him. Kida has never told Nigerians how much he has borrowed for the teams. Every time, we hear Kida spent his money and when the money is paid, we don’t know,” he said.