Mahama Will Win And Keep Me As Sports Minister - Nii Lante

Nii Lante Vanderpuye says he is very optimistic of a John Mahama victory in the presidential elections so he can continue his work as Sports Minister for as long as 2020. “I am very confident that His Excellency John Mahama will win the election in November and will keep me at the ministry for another term” Mr. Vanderpuye told Joy News.

Unfazed by grim statistics that shows a high attrition rate at the Ministry, Nii Lante Vanderpuye believes he is very likely to break the curse that comes with heading the sports ministry. The Sports ministry has seen seven ministers in the past seven years. The minister said he is keen on staying on long enough to finish a revolution he has started at the Sports ministry infamous for being a cabal for shady and self-seeking interests. Things are becoming different, Mr. Vanderpuye said.

Already, 80% of staffs who have been at the Ministry for more than three years have been transferred, leaving him with a relatively fresh team of administrators, he explained. The ministry in charge of the passion of the nation, football, is facing a financial crisis, the minister has admitted. It has a 22 million budget and a debt of 16million on its books, the minister has found out. Apart from debts owed to caterers for food eaten in 2014, Nii Lante Vanderpuye said the ministry owes travel and tour companies and a litany of service providers and suppliers. “We are seriously broke….it is amazing. Somebody is being owed since 2011, a hotel, what it means is that you are crumbling the business”. “We are owing the footballers, we are owing even the amputees, we owe the Black Stars, we owe the Black Queens, the Black Princesses, we owe the Black Maidens, we owe everybody” the lament continued.

The Minister also wants to see changes in the very thorny issue of payment of honorariums to football teams. He said it doesn’t make sense to pay Black Stars a flat-rate honorarium of $10,000 while advanced economies like the US pay their players $3,000. The minister said going forward honorariums for every Black Stars game will be negotiated according to the strength of the opponent, suggesting it will be less if Ghana plays a weaker team and vice-versa.