KIDA BREAKS SILENCE:

The President, and now Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the NBBF has decided to break his silence on activities of the NBBF during the period of his leadership of the Federation. 

Kida, who appeared calm and answered all the questions thrown at him.

1) On why he did not respond to the video posted by a few D’Tigress players?

Kida said that he decided not indulge in a conversation on the social media to respond to any claims, because he has always been very frank and open to all in all meetings with the various teams and officials. that were The most recently held was in July with the D’Tigress in Las Vegas when they were preparing to play friendlies with the USA and Australia, and I explained everything to the whole team and officials. These explanations are what they apparently refused to believe, for whatever reasons they have, and only to find out that it’s the same explanation given to them recently by the Hon. Minister FMYSD, who since he assumed his office has been most supportive of the NBBF in its activities and in trying as much as possible to pay all outstanding monies and liabilities due to the NBBF.Kida said that
the HM has always encouraged the NBBF to put in its best in all its outings to make Nigeria proud and a force to reckon with globally and maintain its dominance in Africa. I will add that if not for Honorable Minister Sunday Dare commitment to
the success of the NBBF, there would have been some crucial events and tournaments that the NBBF would have missed, which would have tainted our historic records, If we have to wait for Government to release funds for the Federation before the Competitions. This is why I go out of my way to deploy all possible resources to make sure that the D’Tigers and the D’Tigress honour all of their activities since I took over the Federation in 2017 to date. It is on
records that we have not missed a single event so far. I also ensured that adequate preparations were put in before every tournament, including the Tokyo Olympics.

2) On why the NBBF has not been able to pay all of the players claims as claimed on their Video?

Kids heaved a sign of frustration and then opened up on the real financial problems of the Federation. He said that he did not want to talk because people will misinterpret anything he says to mean that Government has not been supporting the NBBF, which is far from the truth. The first money the NBBF got was N850 Million, to enable the D’Tigers prepare and participate in the FIBA World Cup in Beijing. This was to also fund the series of the World Cup qualifiers and the hosting of one of the windows in Lagos. Our total expenses was about N1.4 billion for only D’Tigers actives from 2017. There is still a huge difference between what we spent and what got as payment.
The second payment we got from Government was N744,564,139 for the series of activities of the D’Tigress from 2017 till 2020. We incurred expenses to the tune of N1,675,402,600 for all those years, and after a detailed reconciliation with the Ministry of Sports and Ministry of Finance on what they can pay, N1,489,128,279.05 was eventually approved for refund. After intense push by the Honourable Minister Dinday Dare, the Ministry of Finance released the sum of N744, 574,139 directly to the account of the NBBF to enable us pay and ease off our creditors and other liabilities immediately. Our sincere and immense gratitude to the Honourable Minister Sunday Dare and the minister of Finance for the relief we got. So I did make a promise to clear all the outstanding allowances which is a fraction of the debts we owe, and since that are also internal debts.

3) On how he was able to finance all of the numerous activities of the NBBF since 2017 to date that has brought in a lot of honours to the country.

Kids said that it was not easy for his Board to achieve those glories.
He said raising money to fund anything is not easy, This is why my fellow Board members who understood the meaning of personal sacrifice and encouraged me, meant the whole world to me, even if the requests put up for contributions on our NBBF official platform were not successful. It is not easy to almost put your entire personal resources just to make sure that Nogeria is well represented in major tournaments and for the country not to be embarrassed. Some of these funds are painful in terms of the costs of borrowing the money, goodwill and personal capital. The President further stated that it is out of such borrowed funds and ones personal savings that we even pay most of the players and officials the chunk of their allowances, flight tickets, excellent hotel accommodation and other exigencies. This is why the claims by the players is personally painful, because I thought they would have understood and stood by me in knowing that most, if not all, of the outings are sponsored by myself personally and on borrowed funds from my mortgage assets, and I am bieng owed a huge amount as I speak. Ofcourse i have never denied the $50 per day shortfall for 7 days (350 each) during the Olympics qualifiers in Mozambique, because I couldn’t come up with all the money for their whole allowances. I equally introduced bonuses for them to motivate them to success, and I truly do not regret promising them the bonuses as they achieved their goal of a very good performance, but I was clear that I will pay them when I get relief from the exposure of the debts owed me by the ministry.

4) On what effort the NBBF is making to get the outstanding paid?

Musa Kida said that they have submitted the difference to the Ministry and that the Honorable Minister is working assiduously to make sure that the difference is paid. He also stated that he wish that the dollar differentials of N360 to the dollar when those tournaments were held to the over N500 to the dollar now, will be considered when the refunds are made, plus the general cost of borrowed funds not paid till now. Kida assured that every player’s outstanding plus the officials will be paid Az soon as he gets paid. He stressed that the federation always funds the activities of the federation before Government makes refunds, and he perfectly understands that, as events with stated timelines will not wait for money from Government , so one has to go and look for money to catch up with these timelines. So the federation is always mindful of the exposure on funds borrowed as Government will not be adjusting submissions previously made. So I always take a hit in the pocket, as such differentials are not paid.

5) The girls accused you of not being in Cameroun to cheer them up, but decided to show up to receive the trophy. What do you say about that?

I went down with COVID-19 after we came back from Kigali, after the Men’s Afrobasket. As I was unable to go, i asked the former NBBF Vice President, Mr. Babs Ogunade, who has been following the team, to take their allowances and all other Afrobasket expenses to Cameroon and pay them. This is despite an official letter that was sent to me signed by D-FEAD, that they will not fund the 2 Afrobaskets. It pained me badly. It took the intervention of the HM, Sunday Dare, who asked me to set aside that letter, and asked me to make sure that the D’Tigress were at the championships, with a firm assurance that the NBBF will be reimbursed of all expenses incurred at the championships. Thank God that the HM’s tenacity paid off as they D’Tigress defended the trophy.
I am , therefore, dedicating this last record setting Afrobasket trophy to the Honorable Minister, Chief Sunday Akin Dare, who stood his ground that we must go to Cameroun to defend our title. Bear in mind that this is Basketball highest tournament on the African Continent. Basketball version of The football “Africa Cup of Nations”. As you can imagine, I was extremely disappointed by the said letter, more so that it came after the Men’s Afrobasket, and the ladies were completing the preparations camp of the D’tigresses team in the USA. So if I funded the team’s camping and participation in the Afrobasket, and given my health challenge, of Covid, that was communicated to them, i wonder how I can be named a stranger to he success that brought the trophy.

6) The girls accused you for not ensuring that they were treated to a reception by President Mohammed Buhari. What do you have to say about this?

Kida was quiet for sometime before responding. He asked us if we really think that he could ask President Buhari to receive them at very short notice, considering the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the world till today. How are we sure that the Honourable Minister has not tried his best? He urged that patience is sometimes a great virtue. He jokingly said that what makes people think that he will not be delighted,himself, with a presidential handshake. Stating that the girls deserve more than a handshake, but it is never a good idea to blackmail government or the President of the country, especially in these turbulent times of Covid, but that he is sure that the President of the Federal Republic truly appreciates the D’Tigress unprecedented feat, and hence the presence of a high power delegation to receive them.

7) On some of the girls complaining of not being allowed to come to Nigeria..

This visibly shocked Musa Kida . He said that he has never stopped any player from visiting Nigeria. Why should I,he asked? How can I stop anyone from visiting his or her homeland. Every of NBBF player is free to come home, but this can not be on the sponsorship of the NBBF, as Government will not refund such expenses.

8) Kida was also asked why some people accused him of calling Basketballers thugs and why he said that no Nigeria based player is qualified to play in the Olympics?

Kida said he never called true and known basketballers thugs. Why would I do that.
Kida said that his statement came at the heels of the elections the NBBF Secretary General held for the players Union and the Technical Associations, where the video of happenings at the stadium went virile. Faces on the video are not that of Basketballers but people brought in to forcefully disrupt the elections,if it did not go the way of some few known basketball Stakeholders. Those are the people i called thugs, Kida said. Twisting it to suit ones agenda is shameful, and I refer such person to go back and watch the video recordings again.
Regarding my comment on the Olympic criteria for players, I said that in the context that our Premier Basketball League was crippled by just a few people, and they try to force the decay on us.
I urge all basketball stakeholders to find out who took us to court. For what reason? For what gain in the end, after about 3 years? When I took over, my aim, as that of my other Board members was to make the Premier League as one of the best on the continent . We attempted to change the name of the league just to get our elite players to play the game they love best, but we were threatened with contempt of court. Which meant jail term for me. So how is that our fault? The truth will vindicate us as the right questions are asked to those who went to court to stop the Premier League.
So it was in the context of the non existent Premier league,for so many years, that I said that it will be difficult for any local player to break into the Olympic team. Ofcourse, we have so many domestic talents that can be in the mound of Akeem Olajuwon, who has won everything in Basketball, and despite that, it’s still the principal reason why we took a few players to the Afrobasket championships in Kigali Rwanda, two months back, from the local league. They will tell you the story of their own experience themselves.

9) What would you say about the D’Tigress accusation that no senior member of the Board was with them on Cameroun.

Musa Kida explained that he could not be in Cameroun because of Covid that he contracted at that time. However, he asked Babs Ogunade to go to Cameroun, and Col Sam Amedu, who was there as a Fiba technical delegate, who has always been with them, was also there. Col Sam is also the President, FIBA Africa Zone3.
So what shortage of “senior officers” were they referring to, he asked? Kida, however, said that he had made all necessary arrangements with Nigeria Embassy in Cameroun to make the girls feel at home. This is in addition to my virtual daily phone calls to talk to the team personally.

10) On accusations that he and Honourable Minister Dare shared NBBF Money!

Kida was so furious about this accusation. He asked why people will accuse an innocent man like Dare like this? Kida asked why people believe that once you are in public service that you must be a thief!
Let me be emphatic about this, Sunday Dare has NEVER asked me for one kobo! And I never gave him a kobo! When he knows that I am being owned so much till now? Sunday Dare is full of pity for me instead, for the kind of money I am being owed.
How would I give anyone anything when I have these huge debts to pay, and huge bills to settle?
For your information, I have not gotten a single kobo for Camerooun trip, Afrobasket of Rwanda, all the Pre-Olympics preparations and camping in the USA, etc. so how could I give anyone anything.
Chief Sunday Dare is a hard working minister who has see practical results of NBBF delivered, and is full of pity for NBBF financial burden and woes on behalf of the good people of Nigeria.

11) The D’Tigress expressed their anger over their travel arrangements to the Olympics and a lack of a Team Manager which is affecting their performance also.

Kida explained that the NBBF was responsible for all Olympic preparations, which is yet to be refunded, but not the Olympics participation.
Kida said that he is not in a position, or the Federation for that matter to explain why the ticketing routes were done the way they were done. He said may be the NOC may have a better explanation with regards to that.
Regarding the issue of a team manager, Kida said that the D’Tigress had Ndidi Madu, who resigned by herself after the Olympics, to pursue other endeavors. And he is surprised that they were making it sound like they never had one. Mactaben Amackree, the D’Tigress General Manager was before Ndidi, and resigned in 2019. So the NBBF will do what is it’s duty, and encourage players to concentrate more on playing.

12) On the coming elections, 2 term tenure of 4 years each and preparations?

Musa Kida said that the Congress, as the supreme decision making organ of the NBBF, has spoken.
Nigeria Basketball Stakeholders want a feee, fair and transparent elections, that will be devoid of any external intervention, which will be in line with the 2019 NBBF approved statutes. Kida also stated,and emphatically too, that if elected , he will leave the stage at the end of his second term, in respecting the provisions of the NBBF 2019 constitution. He said 8 years is enough for any leader to leave an indelible on the sands of time, stating that this should be the norm globally.

13) Finally, on the allegation that a letter was sent by FEAD for you to explain the sponsorship you got from January 2017 to date?

Kida said that he had furnished the Ministry with all the sponsorship contracts entered into by the NBBF as requested by the Ministry.

a) Kida stated that they responded on the TOTAL Divisions I & II, PEAK, ZENITH, and in kind sponsorships. However there was a four year contract that was entered into by the NBBF in 2017 with a half yearly payment of $1.1 million, which meant that NBBF should have benefitted about $2.4 million dollars, going by the contract terms, for 2017. These amounts were never handed over to us from the former board, nor reflected in any of the NBBF accounts, which were never also handed over to us. And so I can not speak to this as we were never involved in it despite our correspondences to the former board and Kwese.

b) We also know that sponsorship contract was entered into by the NBBF with PEAK China for apparel sponsorship to the tune of $75,000.
This was never handed over to us and was never reflected in any accounts of the NBBF as well. However, we can not speak to this, also, as we are not involved, even though we have agreed to meet Nigeria’s part of the contract by continuing to use the PEAK apparels in all of our tournaments, as evident even at the Olympics.

c) We successfully negotiated Total contract and the proceeds were reflected in the NBBF sponsorship account.

d) Zenith Bank Sponsorship is purely on the basis of request for funds on a yearly basis and they just give the NBBF what they can afford out of the request made.

e) NBBF has not received any money from FIBA since 2017, as we agreed and insisted that it will be done only through an NBBF Domiciliary account, and not any individual account and this was only recently opened for us by the ministry with the CBN recently.