General News of Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Kweku Baako says the Sports Minister’s refusal to disclose the AFCON budget to the public dents the trust the public has in him.
He said the Minister’s refusal to disclose the budget before the tournament and his blatant refusal to do so after the Black Star’s arrival in the country casts a slur on his credibility.
Mr Ayariga told Peace FMs’ morning show host Kwame Sefa Kayi Wednesday morning that the only place he can disclose the budget was in Parliament or in a report to the Auditor General and that he is not answerable to him [Sefa Kayi].
He said the information will be made available to the public once he has presented it to the appropriate authorities.
However, Mr Baako in commenting on the interview with the minister said “the quality of the minister’s communication is becoming questionable.”
He said the minister could have used the opportunity to change people’s perception about the ministry especially after the Brazil World Cup fiasco.
He indicated that the issue about how much was spent on the team for the tournament should not have degenerated into an argument because “announcing the budget whether it is from the Consolidated Fund or the GNPC, the very moment the money is released to the national team it becomes public funds.
“Even if it is a private bank the moment it is released to the custody of the state, it becomes public funds and how it is managed is subject to the principle of public accountability”, he continued.
Mr Baako admitted that the laws indeed stipulate that an account be rendered to parliament and the Auditor General,but announcing it to the public should not be a “big deal” and the minister loses nothing if he announces it.
“Indeed the laws say it should be made known to parliament and Auditor General, what was the big deal in just announcing it to the public especially when questions were being asked. Saying that he will not discuss it created unnecessary and needless suspicion.
Mr Baako also expressed disappointment at the minister’s lack of information on the company which sponsored some 500 supporters to watch the final match between Ghana and Ivory Coast.
The minister had said he was not interested in knowing the company that sponsored the trip to Equatorial Guinea although he was aware of it.
He was aware of the presence of the supporters and what he should have done was to direct the journalist to who sponsored the trip even if he did not want to say it himself, Mr Baako noted.
Meanwhile the Sports Minister has disclosed that that government approved about GH?17.9million to fund Ghana’s participation in the AFCON 2015 event in Equatorial Guinea.
He revealed the figures while taking questions on the floor of Parliament Wednesday.