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Minority Seeks Further Probe Into AfCON Budget Saga

The Minority caucus in Parliament has called further probe into the budget that Ghana at the 2019 Africa Confederation tournament in Egypt.

According to the Minority, the report presented to parliament by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Hon. Isaac Kwame Asiamah did not reflect the truth as some of the expenditure figures look alarming.

They want a breakdown of expenditure to enable the House to analyze the various expenditure items not only for value for money assessment but to also verify the authenticity of the aggregate figures provided by the Minister on the floor of Parliament.

The Minority made these demands in a statement issued and signed by the Ranking Member of the Sports Committee of parliament, Hon. Kobena Mensah Woyome.

The minority contended that the various components of the expenditures as presented to the House were inconclusive and that the authenticity of the figures remained problematic and meaningless and could not pass a thorough debate.

Mr Woyome who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the South Tongu Constituency in the Volta Region, wondered what constituted the airfare cost of $924,168 and the accommodation expenditure of $1,143,519.
The Ranking Member also questioned what constituted the technical staff, the incidentals as captured in the budget for over $40,000 as well as several other components that required further details.

According to him, a further breakdown on how much was spent on players, supporters and others as far as airfares were concerned, was important for the appropriate interrogation of the figures.

These reactions from the Minority followed the appearance of the Minister for Youth and Sports before Parliament on Wednesday, 24th July 2019 where he gave account on Ghana’s 2019 AFCON campaign.

Mr Woyome argued that there were also several issues the report of the Finance Minister failed to capture such as why the Ministry did not have a systemic budget plan where expenditures of the team would gradually increase as the team progressed in the tournament. This way, there would be an accompanying budget at each stage of the competition so that if the team failed to qualify for a certain round, the budget of the team was truncated at the stage they exited the competition.

This method, the Minority believe could have saved the Ministry and the country millions of dollars in excess expenditures.

The statement said there are other important aspects of the Minister’s speech that the Minority would be perusing in Parliament as the debate on the matter progresses.

It, therefore, entreated all Ghanaians to remain calm while assuring them that the Minority would not relent on its efforts to ensure that the Youth and Sports Minister provides every bit of details to what the Ranking Member described as ‘astonishing budget’ that Ghanaians would want to know.

Mr Woyome also stressed the need for the Minister to present budgets of such tournaments to the House in the near future for debate on the floor and accompanying approvals before such tournaments begin.

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