The minority in Ghana’s parliament has summoned Sports Minister Isaac Kwame Asiamah to answer questions over the humongous $15 million to execute Ghana’s 2019 African Cup of Nations Campaign which is circulating in the media.
The opposition NDC party wants the Minister to reveal the amounts of taxpayers’ money to be spent on the Black Stars after dodging attempts to reveal the exact amount government intends to spend on the tournament in Egypt.
The ruling NPP government had vowed in its election campaign promise to slash Ghana’s financial expenditure on the Black Stars in the face of grinding poverty facing the ordinary taxpayer.
However insiders say the Ministry has doggedly approved $15 million to be spent on the lavish trip to Egypt in the tournament that the winner can only receive $4.5 mlllion.
This has drawn the Kobena Woyome, a ranking member on Youth, Sports and Culture Committee in parliament to table a motion with the Speaker of Parliament to ask Hon Asiamah to appear before parliament to answer questions over the highest budget any African country has ever prepared for the AFCON.
“The Black Stars budget was not captured in the Sports Ministry budget for the year and the Sports Ministry continues to keep mute over the actual amount of money to be spent on at the tournament,” Woyome told New Mercury Radio.
“ We raised the issue but we were told it will be in the mid-year review. I’m surprised the current government is doing the same things he campaigned on.
“I have filed an urgent question for the Minister of Youth and Sports to come to Parliament and disclose to the house the budget for AFCON to Ghanaians”, he added.
“The right thing to do is that every Ministry’s Budget is suppose to come to Parliament for a review so we know of the expenditure. So it is a right call that the budget must be known by Ghanaians,” he concluded.
Knowing that this budget will generate a huge public outcry, the Sports Ministry is refusing to tell Ghanaians about the budget for the tournament.
Meanwhile the winner of the AFCON trophy will take home $4.5 million as prize money. Runners-up will pocket $2.5 million, semifinalists, $2 million and $800,000 for the quarter-finalists.
$475,000 will be for each team that will be eliminated at the group stage, meaning that all the countries competing at the tournament will receive at least $735,000 each for preparations and group stage earnings.
THE PREVIOUS FIGURES
Ghana’s estimated budgets for three of the last four have been as follows:
2012 – $5.5m
2015 – $5.8m
2017 – $3.4m
2019 – $15m