The Minister for Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif, says the government of President Nana Akufo-Addo has made unprecedented investment in sports infrastructure development, contrary to claims being pushed by some section of the sports media that the government has not done enough.
Addressing the media in Ho and Koforidua after inspecting on-going construction works on the Ho and Koforidua multi-purpose sports centres, Mustapha Ussif provided data on a number of renovation works and new sports facilities the Akufo-Addo government has invested in,to buttress his point of unrivalled investment by the government, running into millions of US Dollars.
“There has been recent talk of lack of Government’s commitment to developing sports infrastructure in the country, but the data and incontrovertible evidence on the ground rather points to the contrary, especially under the Government of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo,” Mustapha Ussif told the media.
“Until the Government of Nana Akufo-Addo assumed office, our national stadia in Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and Essipong were deteriorating, as they had not received any serious attention for some time. However, in the past six years under this government, these facilities have undergone major renovation works, which are continuing, to bring these facilities up to standard.
“Also, this Government has invested massively in community sports infrastructure by building close to 100 astro-turfs across the country. Before the Government of President Akufo-Addo, there were only two public astro turfs in the country. To have close to 100 astro turfs, fairly distributed across communities in the country, is a remarkable feat never seen before, which demonstrates a government committed to developing sports infrastructure.”
The Sports Minister continued: “In addition to this, the government has also embarked on the unprecedented nationwide development of multipurpose facilities across the country – that is the 10 National Youth Centres. This audacious, national scale sports infrastructure development has never been witnessed in our country before.”
Concerns have been raised over the slow pace of work for the completion of the 10 multi-purpose sports centres, but the Minister reiterated government’s commitment to completing a project it conceived, beginning with six, which he said are on Phase 2.
“Even though the project (10 multi-purpose stadia) is behind schedule due to several factors, government’s commitment to completing it is never in doubt,” Mustapha Ussif assured.
“We have focused on completing six of the youth centres as soon as possible and work is progressing steadily, as the Ho Stadium shows. Indeed, no one can be more committed to seeing the completion of these projects than the very government which conceived the idea and started it.”
The Sports Minister added that in addition to the on-going renovation of the national stadia, the community astro turfs and the 10 multi-purpose sports centres, government is also investing heavily in sports infrastructure at the University of Ghana and Borteyman, in readiness to host the African Games.
“Government also decided to bid and host the African Games in Accra, in order to offer the country an opportunity to develop more sports infrastructure. Currently, construction works are ongoing at the Borteyman Stadium as well as at the University of Ghana Stadium in Accra. For these projects alone, Government has committed over $200 million.
“This is unprecedented in our nation’s history, and this is a clear demonstration of our government’s commitment to developing sports infrastructure.”
The Minister added that government’s investment on sports infrastructure he has outlined, excludes the government’s collosal funding of national sports teams, especially football, which runs into millions of US Dollars.