Sports News of Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Source: The Chronicle
The Ranking Member on the Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture, Isaac Asiamah, has challenged the Ministry of Youth and Sports to explain what went into the spending of GH¢1,435,903.14 that the sector claimed to have spent in 2013, on ground preparation work for the construction of the Cape Coast Stadium.
According to him, the said activity was undertaken in 2008, during the New Patriotic Party administration, and could not understand why the Ministry was insisting they had spent GH¢1,435,903.14 for the same project.
“It was done in 2008, when I was the Chairman of the Youth and Sports Committee. We went there to inspect the work, and we saw what has been done, ground preparatory work, almost everything was done, I know the genesis of that programme. We need to know what that money was used for,” he noted in an interview with The Chronicle.
Explaining the details of the work to this reporter, he said the contract was awarded to a Holland company in 2008, but it was later stopped due to a change of government.
“That is why I queried that the amount of over GH¢1.4 million must be accounted for, which company was involved, and if due process of award of contract was done, because it needs parliamentary ratification.
“Who is the contractor, did it come to Parliament, I asked this question at the committee level, but there was no answer from the Deputy Minister who appeared before us,” he lamented.
Earlier Isaac Asiamah, who is also the MP for Atwima-Mponua, in contributing to the motion for the approval of an amount of GH¢36,134,116 moved by the Minster, raised the same issue on the floor of the august House.
In response, the Minster for youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, noted that the contract had been awarded to a new contractor. According to the Minister, the contract met all the criteria spelt out by law.
The Sports Minister’s claim was, however, challenged by the Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, who insisted that the contract was never brought to Parliament.
“Mr. Speaker, the contract, per Article 181 of the 1992 Constitution, must come to Parliament, and the Minister should know they cannot do anything outside Parliament. This contract has not been brought to Parliament,” he insisted.
The Minority Leader’s stance was supported by the First Deputy Speaker, Barton Odro, who presided over the House.
He noted that “the House needs to be informed before the contract is awarded. I remember that the case was taken to court by the first contractor, but was dismissed, due to Article 181, because Parliament was not aware. So the new contract should be brought to Parliament,” he said.
Isaac Asiamah also disclosed that the Deputy Minister, Joseph Yamin, during his deliberations with the committee, hinted that the preparations and participation of Black Stars in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil would cost GH¢24 million, but was, however, surprised, when the Minister told the House that the amount was a speculative figure, and that his outfit was yet to come out with the actual cost.
“This is where corruption begins; lack of transparency and accountability, because if you do due diligence, you will get the amount and tell us that this amount will be spent on the technical team, supporters and GFA.
“The money must be approved by Parliament before you spend it; Parliament will, on Wednesday, pass appropriation act, and preparation can start any time, even getting to know the preparation of your opponent, you will spend,” Asiamah noted.