Ghana’s former Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, has expressed disappointment with the government’s 2018 budgetary allocation for sports.
“This government does not intend to spend on sports development in this country,” he said.
The former minister, who is a Member of Parliament for Odododiodio constituency, made this known on the floor of Parliament while reviewing the 2018 policy and budgetary allocation for sports.
Mr. Vanderpuye pointed out that sports is an important vehicle that mobilizes and brings people together for nation building regardless of individual differences, hence the need for the government to take its growth seriously.
He said the country lacked a quality sports infrastructure and was surprised that the 2018 budget did not mention anything about sports infrastructure development, adding that the sector cannot grow without that needed infrastructure.
He also cited examples of how venues established by the previous government had boosted sports in recent times.
“The government of NDC under President John Dramani Mahama, with focus on sports infrastructure, made efforts to commission Cape Coast Stadium and got Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) in a Public Private Partnership to build the Trust Sports Emporium in my constituency.
“This emporium has, all of a sudden, ballooned the interest of people in boxing that almost every month Ghana’s boxing is on international channels. That should tell you what a sports infrastructure will do to spur up the development of sport in the country,” he added.
According to Mr. Vanderpuye, the 2018 financial budget did not reconcile with the government’s policy on economic and social development for the country.
“If the government has drawn out a clear-cut policy in this book [economic and social policy document], then I would expect that the financial policy of government which focuses on Youth and Sports would have a bearing on this,” he noted.
“But there are variances,” he pointed out. “You can really see the linkage between the economic and social policy document and the budget presented to this house.”
Mr. Vanderpuye urged the government to cut other expenditures to realign to the development of sports infrastructure in other to give the country chance to host international tournaments as well as improving sports.
–Dennis Osei Gyamfi, GNA