By George Aluo
The nation’s basketball governing body, NBBF smiled to the banks today in Lagos after signing a five-year deal with Total E & P worth N150m.
The package is a sponsorship deal that would see Total E & P bankroll the men’s Division One and Two basketball league until 2025.
The NBBF, Total MOU which was signed at Eko Hotel and Suites was graced by sports minister, Sunday Dare who poured encomiums on the oil firm for buying into the sports ministry agenda of taking sports to the private sector.
Dare noted that the signing of the MOU demonstrates once again the goodwill and corporate social responsibility of Total E&P Nigeria in identifying with basketball development in our country.
In Dare’s words: “I sincerely thank the Management of Total E&P Nigeria Ltd for sponsorship of the National Division 1&2 Men’s Basketball Leagues, which indicates a clear commitment in the development of the sports of Basketball in Nigeria. The present Board of the Nigerian Basketball Federation under the leadership of Engineer Ahmadu Musa Kida has made Nigeria proud with great achievements at both National and international levels.
I must commend the board of the Nigerian Basketball Federation for putting Nigeria as a leading Basketball nation in Africa and showing commitment towards continuously bringing out the best in the players and also ensuring some level of consistency in their international performance.
I urge the board to continue in order to bring more laurels to Nigeria, exemplified by the fact that for the first time in the history of Basketball, Nigeria has qualified both the male and female National Teams for the forthcoming Olympic Games scheduled to hold in Japan next year. I’m confident that Nigeria would do well at the Olympics next year. For now, basketball is my number sport”
Speaking at the event, The Managing Director of Total E&P Nigeria Ltd Mr. Mike Sangster said the company was committed to basketball and youth development in Nigeria, hence the sponsorship of the National leagues.
President of the Nigerian Basketball Federation, Engineer Ahmadu Musa Kida on his part stated: “I want to sincerely thank you for your unrelenting support towards the development of Basketball. Your support has put us in the right pedestal to get our players and technical crew to the right place. You have really removed a lot of burden from the Federations through your relentless efforts to reposition sports”
Kida assured that the sponsorship would outlive his tenure…”Whether I win the next election or not, this sponsorship would be completely handed over to whoever becomes the next President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation. This is not about me or anyone, but the total development of Nigerian Basketball and our youth.”
Kida stressed that Total E & P is not interested in the politics of NBBF and who runs the sports federation but in the development of Nigerian sports.