Stories by Albert Akota
The President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Tijani Umar has urged the National Sports Commission (NSC) to make funds available to the federation in order to carry out its 2014 programme effectively.
Umar described the NSC attitude towards the federation as retrogressive. According to him, this is responsible for the continuous challenges which various sporting federations face in its day to day activities due to lack of adequate manpower and non-availability of facilities as well as funds.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, Alhaji Umar who was visibly disturbed by the inability of the federation to access funds to execute its programmes and activities in line with its mandate stated that the current NBBF board have dipped hands into their pockets to get things done.
Tijani Umar lamented that apart from the paucity of funds affecting the federation, they do not have enough personnel to manage a modern day basket ball Federation.
According to the NBBF Boss “We have three NSC officials in the basketball federation and three persons only cannot run a federation. We are under-staffed, under-equipped and under-funded. And because of these three reasons, no matter how much effort a President or secretariat will put, it will just be a drop of water in the ocean.
“You will only begin real progress when every considerable duty has someone is there to take care of it. If we have people we carry out what we should do and submit regular reports during our meetings, the board will simply face its job and does it well.
“Again, if we are to run the federation the way it is in other climes, board members are supposed to be fully engaged and paid. They will be given money which they require to execute many responsibilities. But this is not what is obtainable rather we run the federation by taking money from our personal resources or pockets. There is no way we can achieve because we are constraint.
Talking about plans to get a befitting structure for the federation Alhaji Umar said “At the moment, we are beginning to take steps that will enable us to have our permanent office here in the national stadium and our plan is to get the building ready by 2016 so that we can commission it by the time we come back from Olympics. We at the NBBF are under pressure to do things correctly.
“Most importantly, we will build a youth and women development department to enable us to begin a development programme that will make those coming after us to work in a more conducive environment.
Let me also say this; the system is shortchanging us and is unfair. There must be budget for national teams. The National Sports Commission has not been fair to us. As I’m talking to you, we still owe millions of naira from the last Afrobasket as well Afrobasket in 2011. We can’t move forward like this.