Joy Sports checks reveal Finance Minister Ken Ofori Attah erred while delivering the budget statement in Parliament last Wednesday.

Point 976 of his presentation on the floor of parliament indicated that some stadia across the country were renovated in 2021.

“Mr. Speaker, some stadia across the country were renovated in 2021 and are at various stages of completion as follows: Accra Sports Stadium – 98% complete; Phase I of Baba Yara Stadium – 98% complete; Essipong Stadium – 90% complete; and Cape Coast Stadium – 60% complete,” he said.

Joy Sports checks however, prove the Hon Ken Ofori Atta was supposed to have mentioned the first Phase of renovation works, instead of making reference to the entire work on the stadium.

In a letter to the Minister of Sports shortly after the announcement, Member of Parliament for the Esikado Ketan constituency, Joe Ghartey requested further clarification as his personal checks did not tally with what Finance Minister announced.

“I write with regard to the above. The Finance Minister in the Budget Statement delivered on Wednesday, 17th November, 2021 stated that the rehabilitation works on the Essipong stadium is 90% complete.

“My checks reveal otherwise. As Member of Parliament for the area, I would be grateful if you could furnish me with the update of the said project, which is located in my constituency,” he wrote.

“Furthermore, if the information given is inaccurate, please furnish the Finance Minister with the accurate information to enable him advise himself accordingly. The project is of great interest to me and my constituents. Counting on your usual cooperation,” he wrote.

In May 2020, the then Sports Minister Isaac Asiamah led a team of officials from his ministry, the National Sports Authority and the Western Regional Coordinating Council to inspect progress of the rehabilitation. He told reporters at a media briefing that the stadium renovation works will be executed in two phases.

‘‘The initial phase, which will cost us some GHC17,969,447.10, will cover the replacement of existing defective roofing sheets, sandblasting corroded roofing steel and application of a heavy-duty coating system to guard against further deterioration of the metal structure from the mid-west to the South Stand.”

Phase two of the Essipong project, according to Asiamah was to cover renovation of the spectator seats and electrical installations, as well as completion of hotel/hostel facilities and other works.

Independent checks with the National Sports Authority and the Ministry of Youth and Sports by Joy Sports confirm Ken Ofori Attah was inaccurate in referring to the entire stadium renovation project as 90% complete.

Joy Sports can also confirm that the first phase of renovation works at Essipong is 6 months behind schedule.

The sod cutting ceremony for contractors, CISDAN to begin work was on the 10th of May 2020 with a target of completing the phase in a year’s time.

Aside being 6 months late, the work on the roofing as cited by Joy Sports is still nowhere close to 90%.

The National Sports Authority and Ministry of Youth and Sports are due to release a statement to provide further clarity on the current state of the edifice that served football fans and the people of Sekondi Takoradi during the 2008 African Cup of Nations.

NULL Invalid API key or channelobject(stdClass)#8281 (1) { ["error"]=> object(stdClass)#8298 (3) { ["code"]=> int(403) ["message"]=> string(117) "The request cannot be completed because you have exceeded your quota." ["errors"]=> array(1) { [0]=> object(stdClass)#8331 (3) { ["message"]=> string(117) "The request cannot be completed because you have exceeded your quota." ["domain"]=> string(13) "youtube.quota" ["reason"]=> string(13) "quotaExceeded" } } } }