Sports budget woefully inadequate - Woyome

Author: Albert Tetteh Wayoe Jnr
Hon. Kobena Mensah Woyome Ranking Member Youth, Sports and Cullture committee
Hon. Kobena Mensah Woyome Ranking Member Youth, Sports and Cullture committee

The Member of Parliament for South Tongu and Ranking Member on the Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture, Mr Kobena Mensah Wisdom Woyome, has described as ‘woefully inadequate’  the 2020 budget allocation to the Youth and Sports Ministry, saying the ministry will struggle to effectively and efficiently run the two important agencies under it.

He says given the activities that both agencies under the ministry have to engage in, particularly sports, the GH¢40,161,682, proposed as was presented by the Minister Finance at last week’s Budget Presentation in Parliament will not help the ministry play its role.

“It is simply not enough to fund all the things they have indicated to undertake in sports development. If you look at the youth development programmes and sports development programmes, certainly the amount proposed will not be enough if it’s broken down.”

From the proposed budget for 2020, ¢18,018,403 will cater for staff compensation or emoluments,  ¢19,692,511 will be for goods and services, ¢2million will be for capital expenditure, with internally generated funds (IGF) accounting for ¢534,241,00.

Mr Woyome was worried that this could hurt sports development, given that next year will see a major event as the Olympic Games, as well as it being busy for other international activities, particularly, in football.

“From the list of activities the budget has, football alone will take a chunk of the resources, given the number of national teams that will be on international assignment. So what happens to the other sports, particularly those who will need support to prepare for their international events?"

“It is not just worrying that the budget has been reduced by over GH¢3million, but that it treated the Olympic Games, such an important event, so casually, lumping it together with the national sports festival when it is so clear that festival will have no impact on the Games given the requirement for qualification".

“Again, in 2023, Ghana will be hosting the African Games but there is no mention of how we will be preparing for that competition with regard to the provision of the required sports facilities. Unless there is a special or other means of the nation preparing for this, I’m afraid the budget will not do much and the sports which have been hurt by the usual no money syndrome, will be worse off,” the Ranking Member explained.

He further said, “Perhaps, when we get to the budget debate for each ministry, we will get the actual breakdown and explanation to why these figures, but from where I sit, I think the budget for sports is not enough".

He also said the budget targets would not be met as it happened in the previous year and was concerned that  the proposed budget did not  make reference to the renovation of sports facilities, especially the stadia, of which the previous budget made reference.

“In the previous budget, allocation was made for the renovation of the stadia for the 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), however, it was only the Accra Stadium that was worked on, even that work has not been completed. This budget in looking at the previous budget, did not mention what happened to those proposals, I don’t think much will happen either with the 2020 budget. I don’t think it will live up to expectation,” Mr Woyome said emphatically.