President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday approved the immediate ban of the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBF) from all international basketball competitions for a period of two years.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, who made this known to newsmen in Abuja said a committee would be set up to oversee basketball leagues in the country.
“Following the unending crisis which have plagued and nearly crippled the development of basketball in Nigeria, 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.
Dare, who was represented at the press briefing by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Ismaila Abubakar, added that the withdrawal of the NBF was for the government to concentrate efforts on revamping the sport from the grassroots as well as resonating the 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.
“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 the 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.
Recall that the leadership of NBF has been factionalised and caught in several controversies for the past five years over the control of the game.
The two parallel national federation board elections held in 2017 in Kano and Abuja and 2022 in Benin and Abuja respectively led to the emergence of separate governing bodies.
The leadership tussle has also affected the progress of the game negatively.