The Youth and Sports Ministry has been accused of billing the state a daily feeding fee of $35 per person in Brazil when the company serving the meal had put the cost at GHC34.
It emerged at yesterday’s hearing of the Commission of Inquiry investigating Ghana’s participation in the 2014 World Cup finals that although the catering service providers presented an invoice of GH¢34 for feeding each of the 720 fans in Brazil during the Black Stars stay in Brazil, the Sports Ministry allegedly increased the figure to GH$35 (GH¢129.6).
The revelations were made by the World Cup Events Sub-committee Chairman, Horace Nii Armah Ankrah, when he appeared before the Presidential Commission. Although Nii Armah Ankrah had insisted during the hearing Chaired by Justice Senyo Dzamefe that $35 was approved as feeding fee per a football fan, the Commission countered his testimony with documentary proof that figures submitted by the catering companies were radically different from the amount paid by the state.
“My Lord I did not change [GH¢34] to $35”, he said, revealing after Justice Dzamefe’s persistence that it was the Ministry of Sports that changed the figures.
Nii Armah Ankrah however said that it would have been “unrealistic” to feed each fan with the GH¢34.
“One of the main functions of the committee was to make sure that supporters taken to Brazil were well-taken care of, and My Lord, everybody here will bear with me that GH¢34 [would not have been adequate]”, Nii Armah said.
But an outraged Justice Dzamefe enquired “why did you choose somebody [caterer] who would give you an estimate that cannot feed the people?”
Mr. Armah could not give a direct answer to Justice Dzamefe’s question, except to maintain that the particular caterer had other qualities which his sub-committee was looking for.
Justice Dzamefe then reminded him: “Value for money, you lost that one”. Speaking on Top Story on Joy FM Tuesday, Spokesperson for the Commission, Thomas Boakye Agyemang, said the Commisstion’s investigations revealed that initial evidence by Nii Armah Ankrah was contradicting theirs.
Mr Agyemang also revealed that notice has been served to the three caterers contracted, Amber Quality Foods Limited, Monique’s Foods and Kenkey Boutique Enterprise to appear before the Commission.
Horace Nii Armah Ankrah will return to the Commission on Wednesday to continue with his testimony.
Ghana’s poor performance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil prompted the Sports Ministry to set up a three member committee to investigate issues of player indiscipline and poor decisions taken by the management team, as well as general poor performance of the team.
But president John Mahama later upgraded the committee into a Commission of Inquiry.
So far, Ministry of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Bank of Ghana, Former Sports Minister Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Fred Darko and Kenpong Travel and Tours have given testimonies before the Commission.
The rest are Travel Matters, African Origin and Sports Tourism, Bammed Travel and Tours, Elizabeth Ofosu Agyari, Kojo Adu Asare and Akah Anthony.