Despite the Sports Ministry's final disclosure on the amount spent on the Ghanaian contingent who attended the just ended 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, the Minority’s Ranking Member on Youth and Sports has discredited the figure, claiming massive corruption has taken place.
Hon. Isaac Kwame Asiamah claims even if the Black Stars team managed to bring home the World Cup, state officials would be forced to disclose every penny spent; let alone placing second at the AFCON.
He made this remark after the Sports Minister, Mr Mahama Ayariga, informed Parliament that Ghana’s participation in the 2015 AFCON, cost the country about GH₵17.9million or US$5.8million.
In giving a breakdown of the expenses, Hon. Ayariga revealed that government’s commitment to the preparation and adventures of the Black Stars in the tournament was GH₵ 17,919,392.70 and disclosed that US$932,740 was spent before going to Equitorial Guniea - where the tournament was held.
GH₵3,242,580 was used on boarding, lodging, airfare and per diem in all the friendly matches before the tournament itself. During the tournament, Hon Ayariga revealed that a total amount of US$608,640 was also spent on per diem allowances, boarding and lodging as well as other allowances for players and officials at the tournament.
He claims an additional US$3,224,139 was on honoraria and bonuses for players and technical staff.
But according to Hon. Asiamah, the Speaker of the august House wasn’t even aware such a presentation would take place and majority of the MPs were taken by surprise when the minister tried to justify the over bloated expenditure in his presentation.
Speaking on Peace FM, the MP for Atwima Mponua constituency charged Mr. Ayariga to make known the officials who were part of the group sponsored to watch the match in Equatorial Guinea. He indicated that from precedent set by the National Democratic Congress, it appears they care less when wasting millions of dollars airlifting supporters who don’t merit travelling with the national team.
“During the South Africa World Cup, they (NDC) spent $9 million on supporters alone. Then that of Brazil has still not come because they know the reckless expenditure that went into it”.
“We simply want to know how much they spent to charter jets they flew in to watch the quarter, semi and finals matches”, he requested.
Despite an announcement by President Mahama at the Flagstaff House that the GNPC has packaged an amount of $25,000 for each member of the team, Hon Ayariga informed listeners of Peace FM’s ‘Kokrooko’ that this was a decision the number one gentleman of Ghana, wasn’t even aware of.
Baffled by the claim, Hon. Isaac Kwame Asiamah stated that so far as president appoints the head of GNPC, there is no way he would be left out of the decision making process. He noted that despite the numerous challenges that continue to stunt the growth of our economy, he finds it hard to believe that the NDC still wants to steal from the poor tax payer.
“Government claims we don’t have light because there is little money to purchase crude oil but this same people have money to blow on unnecessary things”, he charged.
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