It has emerged from the ongoing Commission of Enquiry into the Brazil 2014 appearance of Ghana that the Mahama government blew a colossal amount of almost 1.9billion cedis (GH₵188,665) on a Presidential dinner which was held just before the Ghana Black Stars emplaned for the tournament.
Former Minister of Sports, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, made this startling disclosure on the first day of his appearance before the three man commission.
“We also spent GH₵188,665 on the Presidential Ball. This event was attended by former players of the National Team, Heads of several corporate bodies, former Ministers of Sports, Black Star players and several other dignitaries. It was at this event that the President encouraged the boys and also signed some jerseys with his green pen, which was auctioned”, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah told the Commission, while giving an account of the costs incurred during preparations for the World Cup.
According to the former Minister, this amount spent on the Presidential dinner was part of a total expenditure of 4,483,262.89 spent mainly by the Ministerial Committee set up to organize Ghanaian supporters for the World Cup and to ensure that Ghana got maximum benefit from the World Cup showing.
Giving a detailed account of the expenses made by the Ministry, the current Minister of State at the Presidency, stated that GH₵1,953,096.52 was spent on Accommodation and Feeding for the over 600 supporters ferried to Brazil to support the team.
A further GH₵140,269 was spent on transporting the supporters while GH₵76,370 was spent on Entertainment for the supporters in Brazil and at the Ghana exhibitions held in Brazil. He again stated that GH₵519,035.10 was spent on 1849 tickets for the three matches Ghana played at the tournament while GH₵128,314.93 was spent on Printing and Souvenirs.
In all, the former Minister of Sports disclosed that 4,509,635 was realized from corporate sponsors and individuals as part of a fundraising effort led by the Ministry and some ambassadors and icons chosen by the Ministry to support the effort.
Mr. Afriyie Ankrah also disclosed to the Commission that unlike the 2010 World Cup when Government ferried over 3,000 supporters to South Africa to watch the World Cup, Government, through the Ministry’s efforts, could only send 612 supporters to the Brazil 2014 world cup, although he admitted that the Ministry had to also cater for some 84 supporters who found their way into the Ghana supporters camp in Natal.
The Commission continues its sitting today.