Nigeria’s Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, has distanced himself from the bonuses and allowances the Federal Government owed the nation’s basketball team, D’Tigress.
He said this in a video uploaded on the official Facebook page of the Federal Ministry of Youth & Sports Development, Nigeria.
The video was titled, “The Honourable Minister Sunday Dare @hmsundaydare reacts to Basketball Players, Says Govt Feels Their Pains, Appeals For Patience Whilst Restating That No Funds Were Diverted. Document shows”.
In a viral video, members of D’Tigress had expressed their anger, claiming that they are being owed allowances and bonuses by the Nigeria Basketball Federation.
The women’s basketballers also threatened to boycott future call-ups to represent Nigeria for the 2022 World Cup qualification series if all outstanding allowances are not paid.
In the video clip, Ify Ibekwe, one of the prominent figures in the D’Tigress, listed the figures owed and also included the $100,000 donation which was given to the team by three Nigerian banks in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Reacting, Dare explained that government was doing its best to get the allowances paid.
He also clarified that no fund was diverted.
He said, “For athletes who wear the Nigerian colour, it’s a commitment, sacrifice. As a minister, I also ensure that I support them.
“I work within a system where the allocation of resources is based on certain critical factors. What we have done is to ensure that we push the files and do the documentation. The processes are ongoing.
“I share the pains. These are allowances that are owed since 2017 when I was not even the minister.
“This is something that the government has on an incremental basis tried to address. I know that part of this money has been paid.
“I understand the pain and I want to put it on record that the ministry jhas never slept at a switch.”