The President of the Ghana Olympic Committee, Ben Nunoo Mensah has pleaded with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to ask the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for more funds to finance its activities in the 2021 calendar year.
According to Mr Mensah, the GHS 34,412,805 allocated to the Ministry in the 2021 budget is “extremely small” and likely to run out after a few months.
He said the Sports Ministry was currently under-funded and its current budget was likely to run-out after the senior men’s national football team (Black Stars) plays a few matches.
“Honourable Minister, the first challenge as you said is your funding. Unfortunately, I heard about the budget that has been given to you and I still think that it is extremely small.
“The more money we put in our youth development and our sports, the less money we are going to put in our health sector and then we are creating a future for more of our youth.
“So, I will still plead with you if it is possible that you need to go back to honourable Ken Ofori-Atta, we still need money”.
He said although the Black Stars as the country’s flagship sports brand were deserving of the funds spent on them, the development of other sports must not be neglected as a result.
“We have a huge brand in our Black Stars, so we need to sustain them with a lot of money. Black Stars play two-three matches and then our budget is wiped out, it’s justifiably so.
“Every money that is put in the Black Stars, they deserve it and we have to put it there because that is our highest pedigree but we need to find money for the other so-called least-financed sports, especially when they have to represent Ghana in the international competition”.
He said the lack of funding of the other federation had resulted in the country’s inability to qualify for teams for international competitions.
He also praised the heads of the various national sports federation for funding the development of their respective sports from their own funds.
The Minister for Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif assured the GOC President that work is ongoing on a new policy that will oversee the development of sports in the country.
He added that the Ministry had also received cabinet approval to establish a sports development fund that will be used to finance sporting activities in the country.
The Minister also congratulated the members of the GOC Board including its President Ben Nunoo Mensah for emerging victorious in their recent elective congress.
He added that although the Ministry did not have unlimited resources, he will ensure that all sporting federations would be supported as Minister for Youth and Sports.
Mr Ussif also appealed to the GOC to work towards qualifying more Ghanaian athletes for the 2024 Olympic Games.
He was hopeful that the country’s medal chances would improve if more Ghanaian athletes qualify for the Olympics and receive support to prepare for the games.
Sports Budget reduction
The amount(GHS 34,412,805) given to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Ministry in the 2021 Budget Statement represents a drop of GHS 5,831,350 from the amount given to the Ministry in 2020. That figure was also a reduction on the 2019 amount of GHS 43,795,046.
The Ministry’s allocation for 2021 comprises:
Compensation of Employees – GHS 19,250,867
Goods and Services – GHS 12,410,171
CAPEX (which will go into building, purchase and maintenance of the ministry’s fixed assets)- GHS 2,300,000
Internally Generated Funds – GHS 451,768.
Source: Graphic Sports