• Sports

    Gov't replies Ablakwa on ‘GH¢604m unapproved All African Games operational expenses bombshell’

    The government, through the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the 13th All African Games, has reacted to an allegation by the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, that over GH¢604m ‘unapproved’ operational expenses’ had been incurred in the planning of the games.

    In a statement issued by its Executive Chairman, Dr Kwaku Ofosu-Asare, which was sighted by GhanaWeb, the committee described the allegation by Ablakwa as inaccurate and full of misrepresentations.

    It refuted the assertion by Ablakwa that the budget for the All African Games had been overblown by about 500%, saying that the MP gave a wrong impression to Ghanaians that the $48 million (about GH¢604 million) expenses for the games would be just for the 18 days Ghana would host it.

    The LOC added that the expenditure for the games has been incurred since the day President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo set up the committee to organise it.

    “Firstly, what the Honourable MP put out is a misrepresentation of the facts. The Local Organising Committee (LOC) was inaugurated by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, almost four years ago, and the operational budget of the LOC cannot be limited to the 18-day period of the Games.

    “The impression created by Hon. Ablakwa that the sum of USD$48m will be spent within the period spanning 8th-23rd March is an erroneous and disingenuous ploy to divert the attention of Ghanaians from the excellent work done by the Government of Ghana and the LOC to organise and host the 13th African Games. This is the first time Ghana is getting the opportunity to host the most significant sporting tournament in Africa since it was first established in 1965,” part of the statement, which was dated February 27, 2024, read.

    It added, “Secondly, the $48m quoted in the letter leaked by Hon. Ablakwa as the operational budget for the hosting and organisation of the Games goes into recurrent expenditure, and the LOC will be in a better position to give a breakdown when the Games are over.”

    The LOC also justified the expenditures on the games, saying, “It must be noted however, that hosting 54 African countries comes with huge cost implications in the areas of Medical and Anti-doping, Transport, Accommodation, Catering. Branding. Games Management System, Team Ghana preparation, Broadcasting and Equipment for 29 sporting disciplines among others.”

    What Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said:

    The North Tongu MP published documents alleging that the government is overspending its operational expenses threshold by about 500% of the amount approved by parliament, relative to preparations for the 13th All African Games.

    He accused President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the sports ministry, and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the games of being complicit in the ballooned expenditure.

    The three groups, he said, in a February 26, 2024, post on social media, “have shockingly agreed to spend an elephantine, wrongful and unconscionable US$48million on so-called ‘operational expenses’ for the 13th African Games to be hosted in Ghana between the period — March 5 to March 23, 2024. [Refer to intercepted documents attached]

    “2. It must be noted that this staggering US$48 million is an entirely different amount from the mega US$195 million (GHS2.4 billion) already spent on infrastructure for the games.

    “3. At the prevailing exchange rate, US$48 million is equivalent to a colossal GHS602 million,” he added.

    Ablakwa also disclosed how the presidency organized a fundraiser regarding the games, emphasizing how the said move was untoward.

    He has since hinted that the sports minister will be hauled before parliament this week to explain the circumstances surrounding the said expenditure.

    Read the full statement by the LOC and that of Ablakwa below:



    Leave A Comment