Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari approved the withdrawal of the nation from all international basketball competitions for a period of two years with immediate effect to allow it some time to re-organise.
Addressing reporters in Abuja, the minister said that a committee would be set up to oversee basketball leagues in the country.
“Following the unending crisis which has plagued and nearly crippled the development of basketball in Nigeria, President Buhari has approved the withdrawal of Nigeria from all international basketball competitions for a period of two years,” said Dare, noting the decision is with immediate effect.
According to him, the withdrawal of Nigeria is in order to concentrate efforts by the government towards revamping the sport from the grassroots as well as domestic leagues which have become moribund.
“This will also allow for the setting up of an Interim Management Committee to oversee the management and development of the domestic basketball leagues in Nigeria,” he said.
Dare told reporters this will further address other related issues around the development and advancement of the game in Nigeria.
He called on stakeholders to help sustain and stabilize the game.
“In issuing the order, the Federal Government reiterates its interest and commitment to the development of the sport of basketball in Nigeria and the huge talents of our youth domestically in an atmosphere free of rancor and squabbles,” Dare told reporters.
He called on players, fans and other stakeholders of the sport to remain calm as it embarks on far-reaching initiatives to reposition, sustain and stabilize the game of basketball.
“This will aid in the growth and success of the sport in the long-term interest of the country,” the minister said.
The basketball sport has been engulfed in a leadership crisis in the last five years.
Two parallel national federation board elections were held in 2017 and 2022, leading to the emergence of separate governing bodies.