FG Congratulates D'Tigress For Emerging African Champion, Hosts Them To A Reception

Aug 7, 2023 - 07:50
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FG Congratulates D'Tigress For Emerging African Champion, Hosts Them To A Reception
By Goodluck Ikiebe
Nigeria - As the 2023 FIBA Women’s AfroBasketball Championships ends in Kigali, Rwanda, the Federal Government has received and hosted the four time African Champions D'Tigress to a reception, shortly after their arrival in the country.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, at the reception held at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja today (Sunday) stated that hosting the D’Tigress by the Ministry has become imperative in view of the Team's exceptional performance at the Tournaments, which has not only made them four time African Champions but consistently made the country proud.
"We are proud of you. Your performances speak for itself. Let me urge you to  double your efforts and consolidate on the successes we have achieved so far. I understand that as a nation, we are winning this competition four consecutive times",  he noted.
The Permanent Secretary pointed out that with the successes recorded by Team Nigeria,  it behoves on the Ministry to now have the right policies on ground that will further strengthen the performance of the nation's  athletes at global competitions.
"We must redouble our efforts. All hands must be on deck to ensure we consolidate our victories. We are not unaware of the challenges confronting the Federations. We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that such challenges are addressed within our capacity," Ismaila added.
While commending the Coaches, other technical crew, as well as Ministry officials for their doggedness, which translated to what Nigerians are celebrating today, Alhaji Ismaila called on relevant stakeholders to join hands with the Federal Government in ensuring that the country raises strong and formidable teams that can continuously bring glory to the nation at all international competitions. 
He explained that as a Ministry,  "we will continue to provide an enabling environment for the development of sports and implementation of all policies that will lead to the empowerment of the youth in their various fields of endeavour. 
The Permanent Secretary, who commended the Basketball Federation under the leadership of Engr Musa Kida despite his health challenges, for putting up such a formidable team, called on them to begin preparation for the 2024 Olympic Competition.
He also advised the team to be patriotic, determined, and shun all forms of  Anti-Doping practices.
Earlier, the President, Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF),  Engr Musa Kida, attributed the Team's consecutive victories to its dogged dedication and commitment to excellence in their games.
Represented by the Federation's Vice President, Mr. Babs Ogunnade, Engr Kida commended the present Administration as well as the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development for creating the enabling environment for sports to thrive in the country, assuring that the Team is determined to continue to hoist the nation's flag in all of its competitions.
Also speaking, the NBBF Coach, Rena Wakama, stated that hard work, resilience and the determination to succeed earned the Team its consecutive victory from 2017 till date.
In her response, the Team's Most Valuable Player (MVP), Amy Okonkwo, commended the techical team, Ministry's officials as well as the present Administration for giving them the opportunity to showcase their talents in the field of sports.
Earlier, the Federal Government has applauded D’Tigress for emerging as  African Champions, four consecutive times, following their thrilling 84-74 win over Senegal in the final of the 2023 FIBA Women’s Afrobasket Tournament held in Kigali, Rwanda. 
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, in his  congratulatory message to the Team, stated that Nigeria is proud of their performance at the competition.
He stated further that Saturday’s victory by D’Tigress is historic especially as the 
Team waited for 12 solid years with no title to show for their efforts.
D’Tigress ended the drought as they were crowned champions in 2017.
The team then followed up with victories in 2019, 2021 and now 2023 in amazing fashion.
The Rena Wakama-led Team has indeed made us proud. "Let me emphatically inform you that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is proud of you and is congratulating you. Nigerians are proud of you. You have indeed made us proud", he declared.
The Permanent Secretary explained further that D’Tigress has become the only second team ever, after Senegal to win four consecutive titles at the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket Competition.
While applauding the fighting spirit as well as commitment of the Team which earned them the well deserved victory, Alhaji Ismaila called on other athletes representing the country at the various global competitions to also strive for podium finishes.
He reiterated the Ministry's commitment to the full implementation of all sporting policies, initiatives, programmes and projects for the empowerment of the teeming youths in line with the policy thrust of the present Administration 
The four times African Champions, FIBA Women’s Afrobasket, D'Tigress of  Nigeria, had earlier on Sunday arrived the country from Kigali, Rwanda, venue of the 2023 Afrobasket Tournament.
The Team, which arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport,  Abuja, via the Ethiopian Airlines were received by officials of the Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development led by the Director, Federation, Elites and Athletes Department (FEAD), Dr Simon Ebhojiaye.
D'Tigress, after winning all their matches at the Tournament to get to the final stage, defeated the Taranga Lioness of Senegal to clinch the Gold medal at the GK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda.

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