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Opinions of Thursday, 18 June 2020

Columnist: Ahmed Osumanu Halid

NPP's performance on sports development is unprecedented

Just within 3 and half years in office, Nana Akufo-Addo's government in the development of sports infrastructure and promotion is unprecedented.

When he appointed one of his young appointees to man the Youth and Sports sector, many were anxious if the gentleman could bring any positive change in the area of sports infrastructure. The infrastructural angle has been the cry of many sportspersons in the country.

The youth are found in every nook and cranny of our country. The talents are scattered all over but the absence of the infrastructure to unearth those talents are not readily available.

So the government through its sector Minister, Issac Kwame Asiamah decided to use the party's manifesto as a guide to implementing what some people termed abstract and unattainable vision. The Minister took up the challenge.

He marshaled his team. Within some few months approvals were given and immediately all the ten construction of the FIFA approved stadia across the then ten regions of the country began. These stadia have other sporting facilities for other sports such as basketball courts, lawn tennis, swimming pools, tartan tracks,etc.The interesting angle is that these stadia are not only in the regional capitals but scattered to the other harmlets.

For instance,some can be found in Yendi,Navirongo,Axim,Dorman Ahenkro, Dunkwa on Offin etc. These are not regional capitals.

Also included in the stadia are computer training centres and restaurants.

I was saddened and disheartened when a former Sports Minister in the previous government and his party's chief communicator struggled to 'defame' this laudable translation of a vision into tangibles or actions.

Football people,sports personalities,sports media, budding youth are applauding the government for this wonderful gift.That at long last,a government had demonstrated a true commitment to salvage or fill the lacuna of sports infrastructure in the country.

It was very gratifying to listen to a senior sports journalist who also doubles as the President of the Sports Writers Association of Ghana,Mr Kwabena Yeboah commending the Hon Minister and his government for such an initiative.

The government has also announced that,the six newly created regions would soon benefit from this project. I am informed that, most of the ten under construction would be completed before December, this year.

No wonder, Ghanaians condemned the partisan angle by NDC, led by its unperformed Minister,Nii Lante Vand Vanderpuye for the party's criticism of these gifts to the good people of our country,especially the sporting publics.

In 2008,when the country hosted the Afcon tournament under the leadership of President Kufuor,two of our stadia were renovated, ie Accra and Kumasi and two more were constructed in Tamale and Essipong to host the tournament.

What happened to the stadia when NPP Government was removed from office after the 2008 elections,?
The poor leadership of over 5 NDC Ministers left these investments to rot.Ten solid years of total neglect.Itook the visionary leadership of Isaac Kwame Asiamah to see to the renovations of three of the stadia.

Accra sports stadium is back to life as it hosted Afcon Women's Tournament in 2018.Today, league matches and other sporting events are held during day and night.

Local economies are booming and talents are being unearthed.

Essipong and Kumasi stadia are also being renovated. Tamale will follow suit.

When leaders failed, they are not honest to appreciate their successors who are correcting their failures.
Every rational person will continue to commend the government and the Minister for this implementable vision.

The government is determined to change the phase of sports especially sporting facilities so it can unearth many talents across the country and participate all competitions and also win laurels to the nation.
It is rare for sports to develop without infrastructure. Provide infrastructure and sports will develop.

Ghana is big.The vision is to give every region of the country a bit of sporting feeling by providing such edifices.

Very shameful to watch Sammy Gyamfi struggling to disown and fault such investments even when the host of the programme, 'Good Morning Ghana' 'Randy Abbey was educating him about the existence of the projects.

There is hope for sports development and promotion as a determined government and its Minister are filling in the gaps and providing the tangibles.

Well done Nana Addo

Well done Isaac Asiamah

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