Except the lingering budget impasse is resolved sooner, Nigeria’s participation at this year’s Olympic Games will face setback with barely three months to the most glamorous global fiesta.
Already, Nigeria Senior Men Basketball Team, D’ Tigers will as from June 29 begin preparation for this year’s Olympic Games in Los Angeles, USA with a number of friendly Games already lined up.
But most of the arrangement put together by the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF for D’ Tigers, African reigning champions to be at their best at Rio De Janeiro, Brazil have been left pending following inability of Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to release funds
President Muhammadu Buhari was yet to sign 2016 budget, five months into 2016. And so, there has been increased tension in various sporting quarters with many wondering how team Nigeria would salvage their image during this year’s event four years after Nigeria failed to any medal 2012 London Olympics.
Due to budget uncertainty and other difficulties Nigerian Athletes have been facing camp ahead of the games, veteran athletic coach Seigha Porbeni resigned few weeks ago.
At the moment, the leadership of NBBF are still hopeful that the federal government will hesitate to ensure release of funds with time already running out.
NBBF President Tijani Umar told Nigerian Pilot Sports that his federation had engaged Minister of Youth and Sports Development to explain several activities lined up in a bid to give both D’ Tigers and D’ Tigresses quality preparation.
According to him; “As it stands, i believe that the ministry has not been able to release funds for the Olympics due to delay in the budget and i also believe that all concerned understand what it is at stake for team Nigeria after no medal was won during last Olympic games.
“On our part as a federation, We have been working hard, leaving stone unturned in an effort to make sure that we give our teams quality preparations ahead of Olympics. Some People believe we are in tough group at the Olympics but i actually believe that as African champions, we have everything to fight for.
“Our players are playing in best of the leagues around the world and most of their respective clubs qualified for playoffs. And so, they are already getting ready for the Games.
“We have been in contact with them. Apart from those playing in NBA, Spain and parts of the World, our players here are equally doing well. The coach has a lot of players to work with. It is now left for him to select those that will make his final list.”
Umar also posited that both Nigeria Senior Women team, D’ Tigresses and their U-17 counterparts that will take part at 2016 World championship would be given adequate attention.

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