Former Sports Minister Nii Lante Vanderpuye says Sports Minister-adesignate, Isaac Asiamah was untruthful he appeared before the Parliament’s Appointments Committee, Tuesday.
According to him, the claim by the nominee that he received an AFCON budget with a $10,000 winning bonus structure from the previous government cannot be true.
Nii Lante stated unequivocally that he left a budget with a flat rate of $8,000 as winning bonus and not the $10,000 the minister designate is trying to make the world believe.
The former Sports minister sought clarification from the incoming minister about the discrepancies in the budget submitted and how much was paid out as bonuses to the Black Stars.
The issue of bonuses has always been a hot potato following a messy campaign at the Brazil 2016 World Cup. A lot of Ghanaians have been critical of the Stars with some withdrawing their support over the same matter.
It was therefore not surprising that the issue came up for discussion at Tuesday’s vetting.
“The Ghana Football Association (GFA) submitted a budget and we [Sports Ministry] reviewed the budget…the total is $3.3 million which consist of bonuses for the preliminaries for the 23 players amounting to $8000, quarterfinals bonus $8000, third place bonus $8000” the Member of Parliament (MP) for Odododiodoo Constituency said.
Photo: MP for Atwima Mponua Nwabiegya, Isaac Asiamah
“This was the budget I left for him at the Ministry,” he said.
The former minister who had a rancorous relationship with the GFA before exiting office said if the nominee claimed the budget amount he received was $10,000 per player at then the nominee did not adhere to the budget he [Lante] submitted to the transition team.
“He changed it before submitting it to the Chief of Staff and he should accept responsibility for that.”
“He indicated $10,000 [bonus] for the players and also gave an inaccurate information that they gave $15,000 as qualification bonus to the players after the preliminary stage. The players played only two matches so why did you pay that amount,” he quizzed.
He accused managers of the Stars and the FA of hiding information and challenged the claim by the nominee that the players agreed to slash their winning bonuses from $10,000 to $5,000 [winning bonuses].
Nii Lante suggested that the players received ridiculously higher bonuses than what the the minister designate will care to admit on record.
“If you put all the monies together, the players received $25,000 after the first round of matches which was more than what the Ministry budgeted for,” he said.
But Mr Vanderpuye said, “I have already submitted [my] budget to the chairman of the Committee. He has not been truthful with us and I am wishing that my leadership would impress upon the Committee to withhold his approval until those things are rectified.”
However, the MP for Atwima Mponua Nwabiegya, Isaac Asiamah told the Committee that the budget he inherited was a little over $4 million and that a savings of $1.4 million was made after the bonuses were slashed by 50%.
He gave the summary of the original budget he claimed to have received as $10,000 bonus for the preliminaries, quarters finals, $12,000 for the semi-finals and $15,000 if they make it to the finals adding “these figures came from the Sports Ministry to the transitional team.”