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Sports Features of Friday, 17 November 2017

Source: GHANAsoccernet.com

Analysis of the 2018 budget on sports

Following Wednesday’s reading of the 2018 Budget and Financial Statement by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, it has emerged that the budgetary allocation for the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the 2018 year has been cut by 32%.

Various commentaries have emerged after the budget statement with many accusing the Sports Ministry of not doing as expected by government hence the reduction in the budget allocation by 32%.

Others have also described the reduction in the allocation for sports as the central government’s lackadaisical posture towards sports and the lack of insight in identifying sports as a major tool for job creation – a major political vehicle for the ruling government.

On the face of it, it is disturbing to have the budget of the Sports Ministry reduced from almost GHC47m to almost GHC33m, a reduction of GHC14m.

But in reality, the situation looks different from the physical reductions of the budgetary allocations.

In 2016, the budgetary allocation for the Sports Ministry was pegged at GHC22m which shot up to GHC47m in 2017, over 100% increment. Was it because the MOYS was performing so well that the central government saw the need to double their budget? No, that can’t be the reason since the Minister was freshly taking office at that time.

Despite the reduction and the fact that we are not contempt with the budgetary allocation for the 2018, we must acknowledge the fact that it is still better than what the MOYS had in 2016 – an almost 50% increase in what was given in 2016.

Now let’s consider the dynamics.

Further digging about the budgetary allocation for the MOYS has revealed that the almost GHC33m allocated for sports in 2018 is largely for sports alone without the youth wing of the ministry.

The central government has secured over GHC70m funding for the youth budget, reducing the burden on the MOYS to squeeze the allocated GHC33m to take care of the youth.

This means that in 2018, the Sports Ministry will spend little or nothing in the area of youth development as the central government will take care of that leaving the MOYS with the GHC33m for sports alone.

On the sporting side, the budget stated that Ghana would be taking part in a number of international competitions such as Youth Olympics Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina from the 6th to the 18th of October, 2018.

Other activities the budget captured were the African Youth Games in Algeria and the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

The Black Stars, the Black Princesses, the Black Starlets and Black Satellites will be involved in various qualifiers for various competitions.

Again, it will be disingenuous for anyone to conclude that the current Sports Minister is non-performing hence the central government’s decision to reduce the budget by 32% from last year’s.

The table below points out some of the ministries that have had a chunk of their budget chopped off as the central government considers major priority areas for national development.

Oliver will always ask for more, surely, and the reduction in the budget will obviously not go down well with some of us a comparative analysis of what happened to other ministries calls for restraint in how we view the whole thing.

Below is a list of some of the ministries that have also suffered a slash in their budgets, with some suffering over 100% reduction:

MINISTRY 2017 BUDGET 2018 BUDGET DIFFERENCE (%)

Ministry of Transport 443,921,709.00 77,474,409.00 366,447,300 (-140.5%)

Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection 255,481,323.00 61,380,673.00 194,100,650 (-122.5%)

Ministry of Communications 367,487,428.00 176,435,511.00 191,051,917 (-70.2%)

Ministry of Roads and Highways 871,222,971.00 532,689,187.00 338,533,784 (-48.2%) Ministry of Youth and Sports 46,910,275.00 32,799,500.00 14,110,775 (-32.4%)

Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation 255,531,354.00 183,632,576.00 71,898,778 (-32.7%)

Ministry of Information 141,078,702.00 107,346,067.00 33,732,635 (-27.15%)

Ministry of Agriculture 759,676,342.00 598,620,435.00 161,055,907 (-23.7%)

Ministry of Works and Housing 108,887,543.00 91,481,044.00 17,406,499 (-17.3%) Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs 3,227,856.00 2,747,665.00 480,191.00 (-16%)

Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development 62,383,055.00 57,179,606.00 5,203,449 (-8.7%)

I am not in any way, by this justifying the reduction in the slash in the budget of the MOYS but I just want to establish that many other ministries have suffered similar and worse slashes; hence it is not the performance of the Sports Minister that has necessitated the slash.

In any case, the President Nana Akufo Addo has the power to change the minister for non-performance and the panacea is obviously not budget slashing.