News Desk Report

A five-man committee appointed by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Kofi Humado, to investigate irregularities and overblown accounting in respect of Ghana’s participation in the All Africa Games in Maputo last year, has recommended the total re-organisation of the National Sports Authority and its top personnel.

The committee, which submitted its report to the minister on April 12, 2012, established fraud and mismanagement in the highest echelons of the new authority.

“The Committee believes that given the extent of managerial incompetence, institutionalised corruption and organisational rot that is going on at the National Sports Council (NSC), it is only a ‘roots to branches’ shake-up of the entire set-up that will rid the organisation of these ills.”

The committee established many cases of hundreds of thousands of Ghana cedis of state funds voted for the purchase of kits and equipment for use by sportsmen for the games ending in wrong pockets.

The National Sports Council recently metamorphosed into the National Sports Authority after a Legislative Instrument sent to Parliament had been approved. The National Sports Authority is under the leadership of Mr. Worlanyo Agra, a former sports coach of the University of Ghana, Legon, and President John Evans Atta Mills’ close ally.

When President Mills named Agra as the Acting Chief Executive of the then NSC in early 2009, there were protestations from a number of sporting personalities, following the infamous dollars in a flower bed drama which surfaced during investigations into the Mallam Issah saga, under which $46 million dollars meant for Black Stars’ bonuses in a game with Sudan got missing.

The five-man Maputo Committee was under the Chairmanship of Nii Adotey Din Barima I, a traditional ruler at Dansoman in Accra. Other members were Prof. Francis Dodoo, President of the Ghana Olympic Committee, Mr. Randy Abbey, a Member of the Ghana Football Association Executive Committee, Mr. Ben Aryeh, a Member of the Sports Writers Association of Ghana, David Agyem and Mr.  Kevin Antiakunu, both sports enthusiasts.

The committee found that the Chief Executive ran the organisation haphazardly without recourse to any laid down regulations. “The Chief Executive Officer, in almost all the contractual and financial transactions, made decisions and expected his subordinates to carry out his instructions without putting these instructions in writing in the form of memos, as is the standard practice in the public service.”

The committee found out that under Mr. Agrah, the state was short-changed in financial dealings in respect of the All Africa Games in Maputo, while lack of proper direction left athletes in discomfort.

For whatever reason, the Protocol Officer at the council, who was supposed to be well-versed in travel arrangements, was by-passed and the General Secretary of the Badminton and Disabled Sports Association, who had no expertise in the field, put in charge of carting the Ghanaian contingent to the All Africa Games in Maputo.

The result was a near anarchy in which the sportsmen arrived at various destinations at times when it was not possible for games courtesies to be extended to Team Ghana.

The committee indicted Mr. Erasmus Adorkor, who was Chef de Mission, for a number of corrupt dealings and lack of organisational acumen that affected Team Ghana negatively.

For instance, while all teams to the games were not charged visa fees, “Mr. Adorkor engaged in unnecessary and needless spending: $1,320 on visa fees; $1,750 on feeding, and another $538 on feeding, all because of lack of accreditation.”

The committee established that the Managing Director of Trafix Service Committee, Madam Bella Ahu, was overpaid to the tune of GH¢48,804.  It was also established that 205 suits ordered from Kwashie Tailors to be used for the opening and closing ceremonies were delivered one month after the games.

It was also established that while Ghana’s overall participation fee was $150,000, Mr. Adorkor presented a bill for $1,782,100. “The committee finds that Mr. Adorkor should be held liable for the sum of $32,100, which Mr. Agra persuaded Mr. Yiriwanu Sambo Aminu, an Accounts Officer at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, to give to Mr. Adorkor, ostensibly as football’s contribution towards Ghana’s overall participation fee of $150,000.”

The committee dilated at length on travel arrangements bungling, which resulted in disabled athletes arriving at the Games without their luggage, including their wheelchairs. The result was that the disabled athletes could not go to the feeding centres, and were hemmed in at their residence without food. “The committee finds that Mr. Erasmus Adorkor, the Chef de Mission, failed to exercise appropriate judgment by not using part of the $10,000 imprest he had on him to alleviate the suffering of the disabled athletes.”

The state had paid GH¢1,000,000 for the flight of the Ghanaian contingent sourced to Royal Derby Tours, which bungled the whole travel arrangements.

“The Committee finds that out of a total of GH¢356,725 voted by the government for the purchase of general kitting for the athletes and officials, not one pesewa was spent or utilised for that purpose… The committee also finds that out of an amount of GH¢185,925 for the purchase of kits, equipment and accessories for the needs of individual sporting disciplines participating in the games, only GH¢44,000 was spent on three sports associations, leaving many associations without kits and accessories.”

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