Economist and Sports financier, George Haldane-Lutterodt, says former world champion, David Kotei (D.K) Poison, must be paid interest accruing from his $45,000 loan to the state over the past 44 years.
He maintained that interest on the said amount over the past four decades would be appropriate to compensate for the sacrifice made for the state by the legend.
“He deserves an interest; this is a business transaction and it will be unfair not to pay interest on such a transaction,” he told the Daily Graphic in an interview.
He, however, admonished athletes in the country to invest the $45,000 refund into profitable ventures to guarantee his survival in the future.
Special Pension Fund
The former president of the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) also appealed to the government to set up a special pension fund for the nation’s athletes to insure them after serving the country and hoisting the flag of the nation high.
“I commend President Nana Akufo-Addo for being a pacesetter and for his magnanimity in settling this old debt after his predecessors had failed to do so, he noted.
While commending the government for removing the 44-year-old albatross around the neck of the state, Mr Haldane Lutterodt insisted that Poison deserved more.
“He was our first our champion and I could remember vividly when he arrived in the country and was put on a ride across the principal streets of Accra, and it looked all cheerful and joyful. He brought happiness to the country,” he stated.
He said it was shameful and disappointing that it took so long for the state to repay the money but stressed that it was better late than never.
“D.K Poison has suffered immeasurable pain and suffering over this since 1975 and we must not repeat such a situation. This must also be the first step in settling the debts of other athletes who did their utmost best for the country,” he noted.
It will be recalled that pestered the state for years through the GBA and other stakeholders in the sport for a refund of the $45,000 he lent to the state in 1976, and President Akufo-Addo on compassionate grounds directed the sports ministry to settle that debt.
The loan was advanced to the government led by Col. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong administration based on a gentleman’s agreement way back in Tokyo, Japan, in 176 after D.K. Poison had won his second title defence against Shigefumi Fukuyama.