General News of Friday, 2 November 2018
The Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) has initiated a probe into allegations that the Sports Ministry, during the tenure of Nii Lante Vanderpuye, handed GH¢1.6 million in cash as partial payment for the New Edubiase Sports Stadium.
The cash was handed to the contractor although it was not budgeted for, Sports Minister, Isaac Asiamah, disclosed to Parliament on Thursday.
The National Security apparatus will therefore also probe the source of funding for the project.
Mr Asiamah made the disclosure to Legislators in documents he submitted in answer to a question from the Member of Parliament for New Edubiase, Mr George Oduro.
Former President John Mahama cut sod for the construction of the 10,000-seater multi-purpose stadium at New Edubiase in the Adansi South District of the Ashanti Region in 2016.
The GH¢6 million project, which was awarded to SHAKDEEN, was meant to have a myriad of facilities such as a football pitch and an astro turf for hockey. It formed part of the previous government’s efforts to improve sports facilities across the country.
“Mr. Speaker, the funding of the project was not captured in the Ministry’s budget in 2015 and 2016. There is also no evidence of sponsorship for the project. The source of funding therefore remains unknown,” Mr Asiamah said in a written response on the status of the project to Parliament.
The New Edubiase stadium was initiated by the late President John Evans Atta Mills after pressure from the chiefs and people of the area. New Edubiase is the home of New Edubiase United Football Club, a Ghanaian football club that is a member of the Ghana Premier League.
The stadium was to serve as a key facility for the premier league club. The project has, however, stalled.
Mr Asiamah, meanwhile, told Parliament that his office is in discussions with the Finance Ministry for support completion of the project.
Responding to the allegations on Top Story on Joy FM, Thursday, the former Sports Minister said the allegations as contained in Mr Asiamah’s written statement to Parliament were blatant falsehoods.
“I don’t know where the Minister got that information from. It is a lie,” he said.
According to him, the Sports Ministry under his tenure did not pay cash as payment for works executed by contractors.
He said although he did not handle cash in, he is sure that staff in the accounts office, who make payments in behalf of the Ministry, would know better not to pay cash.
“It is naïve to say money was paid in cash, how was this known? Did they take a photo?” Nii Lante Vanderpuye quizzed.