NSA diverts GES cash to organize festival
The National Sports Authority has been asked to refund an amount of GH¢180,494 used for the 2017 National Sports Festival to the management of Baba Yara Sports Stadium to replace broken seats at the stadium.
A recent report released by the Ghana Audit Service indicates that the NSA had asked the Kumasi office of the Ghana Education Service (GES) to pay an amount of GH¢203,688 to replace broken seats at the stadium, during an inter-colleges sports competition.
It was observed that the said amount was paid but the seats had not been fixed during the audit. Instead, the NSA had used GH¢180,494 from the amount to pay for sports festival.
The report has been submitted to the Parliament of Ghana, in accordance with Sections 13(e) and 16 of the Audit Service Act, 2000 (Act 584) and has also been published on the Audit Service website.
The purpose was to find out whether the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) and the National Sports Authority (NSA) have carried out their oversight responsibilities and implemented measures to ensure the physical and financial sustainability of sports stadia.
The audit was carried out from August 2017 to December 2018 at the Ministry of Youth and Sports and National Sports Authority and covered the period 2012 to 2018.
The report was silent about the specific Inter College and Schools competition during which this revelations came out, but The Chronicle checks shows that the most recent 2019 Inter-Schools competition led to some confusion breaking out between students of Obuasi Sec. Tech. and Al Azhariya Senior Secondary School which left some students with various degrees of injuries.
A report by Ash FM, a local radio station in Kumasi quoted the PRO of the Ashanti Regional NSA, Madam Patience Adams Shallom, as saying that one thousand and eighty five (1,085) stadium seats were destroyed.
The NSA said it did the counting of the broken seats with representatives from GES and it came out with the number of seats that were broken and the offenders were asked to pay for it.
Giving other reasons why this particular audit was carried out, the audit report indicated that in order to provide venues and also meet the standards of tournament in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, which was hosted in Ghana, the government refurbished two stadia in Accra and Kumasi, thereby doubling the seating capacity of each from 20,000 to 40,000.
The government also constructed Essipon and Tamale stadia to seat 20,000 spectators each and another one in Cape Coast with a seating capacity of 15,000 in 2016.
However, six years (2014) after the tournament, media reports appeared about the fast deteriorating state of the stadia.
For instance, scoreboards had stopped working, steel beams were rusting, the playing fields needed fresh turf and the facilities needed repainting.
Therefore, the audit was to find out whether the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) and the NSA have carried out their oversight responsibilities and implemented measures to ensure the physical and financial sustainability of sports stadia.
Other findings and recommendations that came out of the report was that the MoYS did not have a policy on operations and maintenance of the stadia, and NSA did not also have a plan to operate and maintain the various stadia.
Management of MoYS and NSA did not also have monitoring and evaluation strategies to evaluate performance of the various stadia to ensure their physical and financial sustainability.
To ensure that Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) and National Sports Authority (NSA) carry out their oversight responsibilities, the report stated that the MoYS should in line with the new Sports Act, 2016, Act 934, develop policies regarding the operations and maintenance of the various stadia for NSA Board and Management to implement and put in place a mechanism to monitor and evaluate the implementation of these policies to ensure the physical and financial sustainability of the Sports Stadia.
It also indicated that the Board should revise the existing corporate plan or develop a new one to provide NSA with a strategic direction.
Further recommendations were that management of NSA should draw up annual plans from the corporate plan and put in place mechanisms for implementation.
To ensure the physical sustainability of the stadia, the report indicated that recommended thatin the immediate to short term, NSA through MoYS should request for the Operations and Maintenance Manuals from the contractors who constructed the stadia and put together a team of experts to evaluate the maintenance needs of the stadia and come up with a sustainable plan for maintenance, the report said.