The adoption initiative of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development yielded more response on Wednesday as three Nigerian commercial banks donated $200,000 (about ₦100 million) to jointly adopt the national men’s basketball team, D’Tigers, and their women’s counterpart, D’Tigress, ahead of their participation at the fast-approaching Tokyo Olympic Games.
The ministry noted that Zenith, Access and Guarantee Trust banks responded in a timely fashion to the appeal by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, for corporate organizations to adopt the national teams.
D’Tigers got $100,000 while D’Tigress also got $100,000 as support to prosecute their participation at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The ministry expressed its appreciation to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, who was central to the process leading to the adoption. It also noted that the CBN governor’s played a key role in the revitalization of the Principals Cup – a football tournament for secondary schools in Nigeria – this year.
The ministry further thanked the CEOs of the three banks – Ebenezer Onyeagwu (Zenith Bank), Herbert Wigwe (Access Bank), and Segun Agbaje (GT Bank) – and their financial institutions for adopting the national basketball teams.
While assuring that there is still room for other corporate organizations to adopt Olympic-bound athletes and teams, the ministry expressed confidence that the financial support has further brightened Nigeria’s chances at clinching a medal in basketball.