Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Youth and Sports who also worked under Hon Nii Lante Vanderpuye’s tenure, Elvis Adjei-Baah has intimated that budget for the Black Stars campaign at the AFCON was only approved at the Ministry when the Minister’s tenure had not ended and had not yet been approved by the government in power at the time.
Nii Lante was the Minister of Youth and Sports under the outgone NDC government and was involved in various broils with the GFA over bonuses and remuneration packages for the Black Stars.
The incumbent NPP government assumed the reins of government barely a few weeks ago and has installed Hon. Isaac Asiamah as the new Minister of Youth and Sports but Mr. Elvis Adjei-Baah, speaking to Sunyani based Space FM revealed that one of Nii Lante’s last act as Minister was to head the proposal of the budget for the Black Stars by the ministry heading into the AFCON, one which was not approved by the government before he left office.
“We did our own discussions at the Ministerial level but from there it needed to go through the right channels and finally for the Chief of Staff to append his approval before the Ministry of Finance could sanction the budget. But that was the period when the change in government had transpired and so all of the relevant documents at the Ministry including the drafted Black Stars budget proposal was handed down to the new Minister, Hon Isaac Asiamah.”
“When the new minister took over, the discussion continued and the budget was still being reviewed pending approval by the new government. The new government had just assumed the reins and they had to take it from where the old government left it implying that all of the relevant discussions and details were thoroughly trashed out at the Ministry before further pushing through the government subjecting to the approval by the new chief of staff.”
When quizzed on whether or not at this point in time momentarily, the government is yet to sanction the proposed bonuses for the Black Stars, he said “At a point in time, there were a lot of speculations with people stressing that the government had already approved the budget but were waiting to make it official. But all of these were speculations and hear says. The discussions were still ongoing and the government had not yet sanctioned the budget proposal made for the Black Stars AFCON campaign.”
Bonuses and remuneration issues have marred momentum and enthusiasm among the Black Stars in recent times and heading into the second group game against Mali later today, the players have already reiterated that they are ready to accept whatever they are offered.