Tokyo 2020: Customs Hold Basketball Teams To Ransom, Demand N35 Million To Clear Kits
By Agency Report
The joy of Nigerians to watch their male and female senior basketball teams perform well at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics could be dashed as the Nigeria Customs Services, NCS have refused to clear the teams’ kits and other sports equipment in preparation for the Games at Lagos seaport, bestchoicesports.com.ng understands.
The Olympics will kickoff on Friday, July 23rd, 2021 and both teams are currently camping in the United States of America, USA for the quadrennial event.
With both Dream Team and the Super Falcons’ failure to qualify for the global event, millions of Nigerians are looking forward to the performance of D’Tigers and their women counterparts, D’Tigress at the Olympics.
But this could be jeopardised as the Nigerian Customs are demanding N35 Million from the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF before the kits could be released.
An official of the NBBF told The Guardian Sunday 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), 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 understanding 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.
The Guardian noted that Efforts to speak with officials of the Nigeria Custom Services were unsuccessful
The 2020 Olympics will hold in Japan’s capital city of Tokyo from July 23rd to August 8, 2021.