The Federal Government, yesterday, named Abuja-based medical doctor and PR consultant, Dr. Henry Onyia Nzekwu, as head of a 10-man interim management committee to oversee the development of Nigerian basketball.
The government recently withdrew the country from international engagements for two years following the leadership crisis that has dogged the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) for more than six years.
Others in the management committee are Mr. Udon Ubon Humapwa, Mr. Frank Jitubhoh, a representative of Zenith Bank, Prof. Adamu Ahmed, a director in the Federal Ministry of Sports, Mr. Peter Nelson, Group Captain Rahinatu Garba, Coach Aderemi Adewunmi, Oluchi Nzekwe and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Sani Adio.
A statement by the Federal Ministry of Sports, signed by Director, Press and Public Relations, Manga Mohammed, reads: “Following the recent directives of President Muhammadu Buhari on the state of basketball in the country and its withdrawal from all International basketball competitions for the next two years, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has announced the members of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) to oversee the development of the sport in Nigeria.
“The Committee is to draw up programmes that will revamp basketball from the grassroots in Nigeria, revive its moribund domestic leagues and attract cooperate sponsors for the development of the game.”
The Federal Government had on May 12, 2022, announced the withdrawal of Nigeria from international competitions for two years, citing the “unending crises that have plagued and nearly crippled basketball development in the country.”
Youth and Sports Development Minister, Sunday Dare, explained that the move would provide government opportunity to revamp the sport from the grassroots, as well as revive the domestic leagues, which have become moribund.
He added that government would utilise the period of break to address all contentious issues among stakeholders.
Recall that the NBBF crisis came to a head on January 31, 2022 when two separate boards of the federation emerged in elections held in Abuja and Benin.
The Abuja NBBF faction election produced Igoche Mark as the body’s president, while the polls in Benin returned Musa Kida as the federation’s boss.