National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyemfi says the claims that the erstwhile Mahama and the NDC administration budgeted the highest amounts for previous AFCON competitions are completely false.
He has therefore asked Ghanaians to ignore the claims and treat them with utmost contempt.
According to him, “In a desperate attempt to justify the gargantuan budgetary allocation of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government following Ghana’s embarrassing exit from the 2023 AFCON, these NPP apologists and their media hirelings have dabbled in all manner of deceptive analysis of equalization and rationalization without any reasonable basis.”
Read his full statement below
SAMMY GYAMFI ESQ. WRITES ON THE MATTER OF GHANA’S HUMONGOUS 2023 AFCON BUDGET AND MATTERS ARISING:
- Subsequent to the publication of the humongous budget allocation for Ghana’s participation in the 2023 AFCON by the hard working Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, I have noted that some New Patriotic Party apologists and their media surrogates have resorted to a campaign of subterfuge, ostensibly to justify this scandalous and mind-boggling revelation.
- In a desperate attempt to justify the gargantuan budgetary allocation of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government following Ghana’s embarrassing exit from the 2023 AFCON, these NPP apologists and their media hirelings have dabbled in all manner of deceptive analysis of equalization and rationalization without any reasonable basis.
- For the avoidance of doubt, below are the budgetary allocations for the last seven (7) AFCON tournaments that Ghana has participated in:
2012- $5 million
2013- $4 million
2015 – $5.8 million
2017 – $3.4 million
2019 – $6.3 million
2021 – $9.7 million
2023 – $8.5 million
4. It is clear from the above data, that the staggering $8.5 million (GHS105 million) allocated by the corrupt Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government for Ghana’s calamitous outing in Cote D’Ivoire, is the second highest budgetary allocation ever in the history of Ghana’s participation at the AFCON.
The highest is the budgetary allocation of $9.7 million for the 2021 AFCON, under the wasteful and corrupt Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government.
5. In the face of the unprecedented economic crises that Ghanaians are currently faced with, characterized by debt default, high unemployment rate, excessive taxation, unbearable cost of living and excruciating hardships, it is callous and unconscionable for the failed Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government to have even thought of budgeting a whopping $8.5 million (equivalent to GHS105 million) for the 2023 AFCON.
6. Also, it is evident from the data above, that Ghana’s lowest AFCON budgetary allocation in recent history, was an amount of $3.4 million for the 2017 AFCON.
It is important to make the point, that even though this tournament was held in the year 2017, the budget was approved by the erstwhile NDC/Mahama government in 2016. See https://www.modernghana.com/sports/746871/afcon-2017-sports-ministry-approves-34m-budget-for-black.html
Claims that the erstwhile Mahama/NDC administration budgeted the highest amounts for previous AFCON competitions are completely false and should be treated with utmost contempt.
7. A cursory analysis of the budgetary allocations of other participating countries in the ongoing 2023 AFCON tournament, goes to confirm how wasteful and irresponsible the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government has been in these perilous times of extreme economic difficulty.
For instance, Namibia budgeted a modest amount of about $1.1 million dollars, while Zambia budgeted an amount of $2 million dollars for the 2023 AFCON. Even almighty Nigeria, budgeted a frugal amount of $1.3 million dollars for the 2023 AFCON. The list goes on and on. This begs the question as to why debt-stricken Ghana, will budget a colossal $8.5 million dollars for the same tournament.
8. I must emphasize, that not only are all these African countries doing better than Ghana economically, but each of these countries is currently better off relative to football performance, the development of the game and its related infrastructure. Yet the budgets of these countries for the 2023 AFCON are three times or more lower than that of the corrupt Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government
9. Having realised that evidence of previous AFCON budgets do not support their deceptive equalisation claims, these NPP apologists and their media collaborators have now shifted to a comparison of previous AFCON expenses.
It is important to point out, that expenses at AFCON tournaments are mainly contingent upon how far a country reaches in the tournament. Any comparison of AFCON expenses that doesn’t take into cognizance the stage the country reached in the tournaments under comparison, is utterly useless and nonsensical.
For instance, it is ridiculous to compare Ghana’s 2021 AFCON expenditure of $2.5 million, to Ghana’s 2015 AFCON expenditure of $5.8 million because, whereas the Black Stars progressed to the finals in the 2015 AFCON, they where eliminated at the group stages in 2021.
It is noteworthy, that Ghana reached the semi-finals of the 2012 and 2013 AFCON tournaments and played in the finals of the 2010 and 2015 AFCONs (all under the previous NDC administration). A simplistic comparison of the country’s total expenditure at these tournaments, with expenses at subsequent tournaments where Ghana was eliminated at the group stages or at the quarter final stage, is preposterous to say the least.
- The NPP propagandists are basing their misleading narrative on false data published in 2019 by JoySports to the effect that, Ghana spent $15 million at the 2013 AFCON competition.
On the contrary, the record shows that the NDC/Mahama government took a decision to slash the GFA’s budget of $8 million for the 2013 AFCON by half, as contained in this publication https://en.africatopsports.com/2013/01/05/ghana-confirms-afcon-budget-cut/ .
As a matter of fact, Government had to fall on the GNPC to significantly sponsor the modest budget for the 2013 AFCON due financial constraints.
The 2019 publication being attributed to JoySports, which many pundits and officials have referenced in times past, also claims that Ghana spent $8 million dollars on the 2015 AFCON. Again, this claim is completely unfounded as the facts show that Ghana only spent $5.8 million on the 2015 AFCON. See https://www.graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/afcon-2015-participation-cost-ghana-5-8million-ayariga.html
I would like to believe that this was a sincere error on the part of JoySports. They must do the needful by retracting this old publication immediately, lest they mislead and misinform the general public.
- For those who claim that, the latest $8.5 million figure Ghanaians are outraged about, is just a mere budgetary allocation, it is instructive to note, that the Finance Minister in a letter dated 12th January, 2024 instructed the Controller and Accountant General to release an amount of $5 million US dollars (equivalent to GHS60.3 million) to the Ministry of Youth and Sports to facilitate Ghana’s preparations and participation in the 2023 AFCON.
For the records, this amount has already been transferred to the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ghana Football Association, who have dissipated a chunk of it on ridiculous appearance fees, bonuses and other reckless expenses. This should be a legitimate cause for concern for every patriotic Ghanaian.
- It is equally important to point out, that this amount is completely different from the $400 that was dished out like groundnut by the corrupt Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government to each of the numerous supporters of the ruling New Patriotic Party, who were transported to Cote D’Ivoire to cheer the Black Stars.
- Instead of engaging in these baseless and shameful equalizations, we urge these NPP apologists and their unpatriotic backing vocalists in the media to channel their energies into calling for a bi-partisan probe into the scandalous 2023 AFCON budget and related expenditures.
It is absolutely imperative, for the nation to launch full-scale investigations into the shambolic performance of the Black Stars in order to forestall the embarrassment the nation suffered at Cote D’Ivoire, which has become symptomatic of the corrupt and wasteful Akufo-Addo/Bawumia administration.
SAMMY GYAMFI ESQ.
National Communications Officer, NDC