With less than 19 days to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, kits and other sports equipment donated to the Nigerian basketball teams to aid their smooth participation at the Games are trapped at the Lagos seaport.
In the absence of Nigerian men and women football teams at the Tokyo Olympics, many Nigerians are looking forward to the performance of D’Tigers and third women counterparts, D’Tigress at the Olympics.
An official of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) told The Guardian yesterday that Peak Milk based in China donated some sports equipment, including sports kits for the two teams, to them for the purpose of the Olympics Games about three months ago, but the Nigerian Customs Service has held on to them at the port.
“These sports equipment are donations from Peak Milk in China and it actually arrived in Lagos about three months ago.
The Nigerian Customs Service said we should pay N35 million to clear them. We wrote for a waiver to the Ministry of Finance through the Sports Ministry, but nothing has come out of it. As I said, the sports equipment was a donation from Peak Milk in China and we even forwarded the letter written by the company to the Customs, but they won’t listen to us. Where did they expect us to get such huge amount of money to clear the Kits? Beside, it was a donation to us and the Custom Service should understand us. Our players need the kits at the Tokyo Olympics,” the official stated.
An official of the Nigerian Olympics Committee (NOC), who also spoke with The Guardian yesterday, pleaded with the Nigerian Customs Services to show some level of understanding by releasing the equipment to the NBBF to enable the players have good appearance in Tokyo.
“Since the sports equipment is a donation from Peak Milk in China, I expect the Customs Services to show some level of understand in this matter. The players need the kits and other equipment to be in good mood and represent Nigeria well in Tokyo. The Olympics Games will begin on July 23, and there is no money to start running around to purchase new set of kits for the players,” the NOC official stated.Efforts to speak with officials of the Nigeria Custom Services yesterday were unsuccessful. (Guardian)