The Member of Parliament (MP) for Atwima-Mponua Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Mr. Isaac Kwame Asiamah has described the Committee set up by the President to determine a befitting compensation package for the Black Satellites as “a waste of time and misuse of scarce state resources”, which does not augur well for the country.
“What is so sad is that after performing so wonderfully and bringing the World Cup to Ghana, nothing substantial has been announced for the Black Satellites team for their brilliant performance in annexing the World Youth Cup”, he said.
According to him, the President should have planned ahead long ago, in determining a special compensation package for the team, looking at their progress from WAFU competition through to the African Youth Competition and eventually the World Youth Tournament, which was recently held in Egypt. Mr. Asiamah who doubles as the ranking member for the Select Committee on Youth and sports, was contributing to a statement made on the floor of Parliament yesterday by Hon Stephen Ackah, MP for Suaman to congratulate the Black Satellites for their sterling performance in the just ended FIFA World Youth Tournament.
He urged the President to act expeditiously in announcing a compensation package for the team, adding “the slowness is too much in this administration”. He believes that the compensation package when announced will motivate the senior national team, the Black Stars in their quest to conquer Africa and the World in January and June, next year respectively.
He was also worried at the pronouncement by T.B Joshua, the spiritual head of the Synagogue of All Nations Church that he was the brain behind the sterling performance of the Black Satellites team. He commended the Ghana Football Association (GFA) for having the foresight in coming out with a comprehensive plan to guide the country in its football development.
Asiamah’s statement was reiterated by the Minority Leader of Parliament, Hon. Osei-Kyei Mensah Bonsu, MP for Suame. He recounted the difficulties the Black Stars had to pass through in 1978, in receiving a compensation package after annexing the African Cup in their home country. According to him, had it not been the PNDC who rescued the then Head of State, Gen. Acheampong, in redeeming the pledge made by him, by giving the players wax prints compared to state houses earlier promised the team, it would ha been a disgrace to the country. Minister of Interior and MP for Zebilla, Mr. Cletus Avoka, was also full of praise for the Black Satellites team for their performance at the World Youth Tournament in Egypt. He however urged the players to exhibit flair, commitment and dexterity and to be disciplined on the field of play, to avoid unnecessary cards or caution from referees and their assistants.
According to him, the red card given to Daniel Addo in the final match against Brazil could have been avoided if he had treaded with caution in tackling his opponent. “The red card put the players and the country under pressure. If we were disciplined on the field of play, we could have avoided the red card”, he said. He therefore called for a more united effort by the senior national team, the Black Stars, in their quest to conquer the Africa and world.
The Speaker of Parliament, Justice Joyce Bamford-Addo added her voice in congratulating the Black Satellites and was of the firm belief that their success will inspire the Black Stars to conquer the World, come next June.
Earlier, MP for Okere and former General Secretary of the opposition NPP, Mr. Dan Botwe, called for an action plan to tackle the issue of poverty.” What we as a people can use to measure the level of poverty in the country is what our leaders have done, and not what they have been able to do because there are still people who cannot afford even one square meal a day, and can’t pay schools fees either”, he said. He noted that project vehicles for the Agric Ministry are mostly four wheel drives, and “if you look at the budget and the amount of monies spent on these vehicles, and you compare it to the number of Extension officers we have in this country, it is amazing”.
Contributing to a statement in parliament to commemorate international day for Eradication of Poverty, he said if one compares the ratio of Extension officer to the number of farmers in the country, and look critically at whether they are getting the best of farming practices in the country, “their institutions would tell you what has been done”.
According to him, the issue of post harvest loses could be avoided, instead of the resources spent on conferences and seminars to discuss things that are already known. He noted that if we keep on doing these things, “we are being unfair to the people we represent”. The legislator further noted that it is high time a bold decision is taken as a country, to get a guaranteed price for other crops such as maize, as have been done in the case of cocoa, so that when farmers get their produce, they know what they would get.
Mr. Botwe appealed to the government to reduce the time they spend on finding faults and setting up committees to investigate issues, so that they can achieve the purpose of governance.
Source: The Chronicle
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