Wednesday, 17 April

13th African Games: Akufo-Addo spending $48m 'unlawfully' on ‘operational expenses’ – Ablakwa

Politics
13th African Games

Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has made allegations regarding the expenditure plans for the upcoming 13th African Games to be hosted in Ghana from March 5 to March 23, 2024. 

He claims that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and officials from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, as well as the Local Organising Committee (LOC), have agreed to allocate US$48 million for "operational expenses" related to the event.

Mr Ablakwa asserts that this amount is separate from the US$195 million (GHS2.4 billion) already spent on infrastructure for the games.

He points out that Parliament had approved GHS100 million for Goods and Services and GHS50 million for Capital Expenditure for the 2024 expenditure by the Ministry of Youth and Sports on the 13th African Games. 

The lawmaker in a Facebook post criticized President Akufo-Addo's decision to unilaterally increase the approved amount by more than six times, from GHS100 million to GHS602 million for non-Capital Expenditure.

Furthermore, Mr Ablakwa raised concerns about the methods used to raise funds, particularly targeting State Owned Enterprises such as GNPC, Ghana Gas, BOST, and GOIL, as well as private companies such as MacDan, Zoomlion, MODEC, and Kosmos, which are known for executing substantial government contracts.

Mr Ablakwa disclosed that the Minority Caucus in Parliament, led by Dr. Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, intends to seek Speaker Bagbin's approval to summon Sports Minister Mustapha Ussif to address concerns regarding the alleged unlawful, ostentatious, and unconscionable US$48 million (GHS602 million) budget for "Operational Expenses." 

He argues that such a budget undermines the authority of Parliament.

Read Mr Ablakwa’s full post below:

 

PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO’S ELEPHANTINE, WRONGFUL & UNCONSCIONABLE US$48MILLION (GHS602MILLION) “OPERATIONAL EXPENSES” FOR THE 13TH AFRICAN GAMES

Even before the dust settles on the scandalous US$8.5million AFCON budget brouhaha; unimpeachable, unassailable and incontrovertible intercepted documents in my possession reveal for the first time that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his appointees at the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) 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$48million is an entirely different amount from the mega US$195million (GHS2.4billion) already spent on infrastructure for the games. 

3. At the prevailing exchange rate, US$48million is equivalent to a colossal GHS602million.

4. A careful reading of the intercepted February 13, 2024 letter signed by the LOC Executive Chairman, Dr. Kwaku Ofosu-Asare confirms that this ginormous US$48million (GHS602million) will be spent in less than a three week period (18 days). This translates into a 6-day weekly expenditure on “operational expenses” of a mind boggling GHS200.6million, and an even more incredible daily “operational expenses” of GHS33.4million.

5. It is most instructive to note that apart from the blatant profligacy and reckless wastefulness by the leader of a bankrupt, debt-distress IMF bailout country; President Akufo-Addo’s conduct is absolutely wrong because Parliament approved GHS100million under Goods and Services and then GHS50million for Capital Expenditure for the 2024 expenditure by the Ministry of Youth and Sports on the 13th African Games. [see page 230 of 2024 Budget as attached]. It is therefore totally lawless and utterly repugnant for President Akufo-Addo to unilaterally vary by more than six times what Parliament has approved for non-CapEX — that is from GHS100million to GHS602million.

6. The intercepted documents confirm that despite Parliament’s approval of only GHS100million, President Akufo-Addo instructed the LOC to send out official request letters as recent as February 13, 2024 in which they defy Parliament and communicate their outlandish, unlawful and unjustifiable US$48million (GHS602million).

7. It is regrettable to note that instead of President Akufo-Addo and his appointees at the Sports Ministry and LOC acknowledging Ghana’s current economic crisis and slashing their ostentatious US$48million (GHS602million) “operational expenses” budget, he rather proceeded to personally chair fundraising meetings on the 6th and 7th of November, 2023 at the Jubilee House with an objective of raising the US$48million (GHS602million). [See evidence of the President’s meetings attached].

8. A number of top executives who have received the Akufo-Addo-inspired US$48million (GHS602million) shocking request letter are outraged about the quantum for a broke country and the deliberate refusal to transparently present a breakdown. 

9. Careful analysis of the entities President Akufo-Addo met during his now infamous fundraising engagements show that the President is mainly interested in public funds either by targeting SOEs such as GNPC, Ghana Gas, BOST and GOIL; or by targeting private companies such as MacDan, Zoomlion, MODEC and Kosmos all noted for executing huge government contracts. 

10. Additionally, the President’s conduct raises fundamental ethical questions: how did the President select these companies? What promises did President Akufo-Addo make to these CEOs? How can other companies compete fairly with these “presidential companies” in any competitive bidding process, particularly considering the current single-source procurement epidemic? After these companies present their US$5million sponsorship cash to the President’s misplaced fundraising campaign, how can taxpayers be assured of value for money in the projects these entities would execute?

11. Should GNPC, Ghana Gas, BOST and GOIL which belong to the Ghanaian people be compelled by President Akufo-Addo to sponsor his unconscionable GHS602million 13th African Games “Operational Expenses” when these corporations could be allowed to make more meaningful investments in expanding their operations so they could create sustainable jobs for the youth and thereby help address Ghana’s acute youth unemployment?

12. Why are these SOEs beginning to make payment due to President Akufo-Addo’s unlawful pressure when they haven’t sought Parliamentary approval? The BOST management should prepare to answer questions in Parliament for the initial US$500,000.00 (GHS6.2million) it transferred to Akufo-Addo’s LOC a few days ago. 

13. The Minority Caucus in Parliament led by the dynamic Dr. Cassiel Ato Baah Forson will this week seek Speaker Bagbin’s blessings to summon the Sports Minister, Mustapha Ussif on their unlawful, ostentatious and unconscionable US$48million (GHS602million) “Operational Expenses” budget which undermines the authority of Parliament — that will be a first step in a series of constitutional actions, not ruling out possible impeachment of President Akufo-Addo, as we are determined to make sure the President doesn’t get away with another blatant “create, loot and share” scheme. 

14. President Akufo-Addo’s unpatriotic and nation-wrecking act of approving and leading the collection of this gigantic US$48million (GHS602million) for so-called “Operational Expenses” for the 13th African Games deserves to be exposed and scuttled. 

15. A government denying pensioners their life savings; a government unable to house VRA spillage victims who are still living in refugee-like tents after five months; a government unable to equip our hospitals including the renal unit of KATH, the imaging departments at Korle-Bu, Ridge, 37 and our regional hospitals; a government which claims it cannot subsidize dialysis treatment and prevent our compatriots from dying; a government unable to clear billions in arrears to contractors, independent power producers, school feeding caterers, public sector workers, teacher and nursing trainees, national service personnel, DACF, NHIS, GETFund; a government unable to employ thousands of young graduates who offered nursing and PharmD and have had to stay at home for years; a government which embarrassingly owed the Black Queens for many months until recent fierce mass agitations; and a government desperately seeking an IMF bailout must not be allowed to spend US$48million (GHS602million) for an 18-day event, particularly when Parliament has generously approved GHS100million. We shall surely defeat this lootocratic scheme! 

For God and Country. 

Ghana First

 

Source: Classfmonline.com/Emmanuel Mensah