Privatisation of national stadia on hold

Sports News of Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Source: Graphic Online

Accra Sports Stadium Green

The Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) has directed the National Sports Authority (NSA) to put on hold the planned outsourcing of the management of the country’s stadia to private organisations.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of NSA, Mrs Frederica Mensah-Davies, who confirmed this in an interview with the GRAPHIC BUSINESS, said the ministry did not give the authority any reason for the sudden directive.

A source at the ministry, however, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS that the plan had to put on hold due to ongoing discussions between the ministry and the sports authority on the way forward.

He said the two parties were yet to decide on anything concrete and would let the public know as soon as discussions were over.

The NSA, which currently manages the country’s various stadia, recently announced it had the approval of the Ministry of Youth and Sports to put out expression of interest advertisements in the various newspapers.

The country’s national stadia needs substantial maintenance, while others, such as the Baba Yara Stadium, are in debt, which has resulted in the facility recently being disconnected by the Electricity Company of Ghana for owing almost Ghc800,000 in bills.

Authorities said the proposed management contract over the stadia was, therefore, to inject private resources into its management, to be able to keep the facilities in the best condition to enable them to generate more revenue.

But that will have to wait now as the ministry has directed the NSA to put the process on hold.

Two companies put in proposals to express their interests to manage the national stadia before the December 22, 2014 deadline, the Director General of the NSA, Mr Joe Kpenge, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on January 7, 2015.

The two companies are Broll Ghana Limited, a property management and consultancy firm, and Charles and Stevens Constructions, an Accra-based construction firm.

He said the authority was awaiting “a no objection” from the ministry in order to evaluate the two bids.

“The ‘no objection’ will depend on whether or not the Ministry is satisfied with the two entries or would want more entries aimed at increasing competition,” Mr Kpenge explained.

Any of the companies that wins the bid will be given the right to manage the two football fields, including the astro turfs, multi-purpose courts, gyms, office space, car parks, hostels and stores that are located in the three facilities.

He said the authority would follow the existing procurement laws meticulously in the privatisation process, adding that it would appoint experts in business modelling and managing to look at everything and also advice.

The Head, Retail Leasing and Consulting of Broll Ghana, Mr Moses Luri, confirmed it had submitted a proposal to manage the national stadia.

He said Broll was a leading manager of stadia across Africa and currently managed majority of the stadia in South Africa.

“We have expertise in facility management; something that puts us ahead of our competitors,” he said.

Mr Luri, however, said with the latest twist in the bid which requires the prospective management company to invest in the facility, the company had to go back to its board for approval.

It is expected that a large chunk of the Ghc36 million budget of the MoYS will be used for the renovation of the four national stadia in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and Tamale following the country’s bid to host the 2017 African Cup of Nations.

However, with a private manager imminent, it is still not clear if the new management will have to invest in the renovation or it will still remain the responsibility of the government.