The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) and Total E&P Nigeria Ltd on Tuesday in Lagos signed a N150 million Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the sponsorship of Division 1 and 2 men’s basketball leagues for five years.
The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, some Presidents of other federations, the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) Secretary-General, Olabanji Oladapo, were among those that witnessed the signing.
Sangster said the company decided to sponsor the basketball game in Nigeria due to its growth after their first two year sponsorship where the teams proved so impressive.
He said the company was sponsoring the game for N5 million per year for five years, noting that they decided to sponsor the grassroots level with a view to identifying and nurturing more young stars to higher levels.
He assured that his company would sponsor more games in Nigeria and Africa, adding that currently, they were sponsoring different sports, including Total Championship for Charity.
The minister described the sponsorship as worthy investment for Nigerian youths, saying the MoU was a fulfillment and transformation of basketball in Nigeria.
Dare commended Total E&P Nigeria for the sponsorship of basketball and some other games, stressing that the MoU was a reflection of their commitment to the development of Nigerian youths through sports.
He also commended the board of NBBF led by Kida for their achievements so far at both national and international levels between 2017 and 2020.
“I urge the board of the federation to continue in this direction in order to bring more laurels to Nigeria, as exemplified by the fact that for the first time in the history of Basketball, Nigeria has qualified both the men’s and women’s national teams for the forthcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021,” he said.
The minister said the government was ever determined to provide a conducive atmosphere to stimulate corporate involvement in sports development.
He expressed the hope that other corporate organisations and philanthropists would emulate the kind gesture of Total E&P Nigeria Ltd and tap into the opportunities available in the development of the sports sector.
The president of NBBF said he was excited about the long term partnership with Total E&P Nigeria for the new MoU, adding that they were targeted at the grassroots which was one of the core focus of the federation.
According to Kida , this is another fulfillment of some of the promises we made about creating platforms for raw talents to be nurtured, while making basketball attractive to the corporate community to want to partner with us.
He noted that after critical evaluation of the initial two-year deal between the NBBF and Total, both parties felt it was expedient to continue with the harmonious relationship.
“With the initial two -year support of Total E&P Nigeria Ltd, we were able to introduce the Division 2 League system and also expand the Division 1 with more teams participating and playing more games.
“It is on record that more than 150 local basketball teams participate in these two divisions all over the country, with two teams per state qualifying for the zonal meets.
“With another five-year agreement on the table, we should be able to build on what we have achieved and establish a system where more talents can participate in organised basketball,” Kida said.
He assured lovers of the game that the board of NBBF would redouble its efforts in putting proper and sustainable structures that would take basketball to the next level.
Edited By: Peter Ejiofor)