Zenith Bank Nigeria Plc on Wednesday in Lagos increased to N20 million the sponsorship money for the 2012/2013 Zenith Bank Female Basketball League.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Zenith Bank, sponsors of the competition for the past eight years, increased the sponsorship money from N6 million last season while presenting the cheque to Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).

The 2012/2013 season will dunk off on March 23 in three centres — Abuja, Asaba and Lagos.

The bank’s representative, Marcel Okereke, who is the Acting General Manager, Zenith Philanthropy, told a news conference the donation was to facilitate the league.

Okereke said that increasing the sponsorship amount from N6 million to N20 million was to boost the competition which now had welcomed six new teams to be more competitive.

“The league was formerly made up of 10 teams, but now has 16 teams registered across the country, which I think is highly impressive,” he said.

Okereke added that the need to accommodate the additional teams in the league necessitated the upward review of the funding.

In his contribution, Murktah Khaleh, the First Vice-President of NBBF, said the league was still developing and that the federation was working to make it better.

“The support from Zenith Bank over the years has been commendable,’’ he said, adding that the NBBF owed Nigerians the obligation to organise a worthwhile competition.

Khaleh said that NBBF will stop at nothing to make the competition an enviable one that would win international honours for the nation.