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News HeadlineAll African Games: Ablakwa blows cover on alleged GH¢604m 'unauthorized' operational expenditure

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All African Games: Ablakwa blows cover on alleged GH¢604m ‘unauthorized’ operational expenditure

North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has recently brought to light concerning documents.

These documents suggest that the government has far exceeded its approved operational expenses threshold by nearly 500% in preparation for the upcoming 13th All African Games.

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Ablakwa pointed fingers at President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Ministry of Sports, and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the Games, alleging their involvement in this excessive spending.

His allegations raise serious questions about the transparency and accountability of the government’s financial management regarding this major sporting event.

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The three groups, he said in a February 26, 2024 post on social media, “have shockingly agreed to spend an elephantine, wrongful and unconscionable US$48 million on so-called “operational expenses” for the 13th African Games to be hosted in Ghana between the period — March 5 and 23, 2024. [Refer to intercepted documents attached.]

“2. It must be noted that this staggering US$48 million is an entirely different amount from the mega US$195 million (GHS2.4 billion) already spent on infrastructure for the games.

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“3. At the prevailing exchange rate, US$48 million is equivalent to a colossal GHS602 million,” he added.

Ablakwa also disclosed how the presidency organised a fundraiser in respect of the games, emphasising how the said move was untoward.

He has since hinted that the sports minister will be hauled before parliament this week to explain the circumstances surrounding the said expenditure.

Read his full post below:

PRESIDENT AKUFO-ADDO’S ELEPHANTINE, WRONGFUL, & UNCONSCIONABLE US$48MILLION (GHS602MILLION) “OPERATIONAL EXPENSES” FOR THE 13TH AFRICAN GAMES

1. Even before the dust settles on the scandalous US$8.5 million AFCON budget brouhaha; unimpeachable, unassailable and incontrovertible intercepted documents in my possession reveal for the first time that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his appointees at the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) have shockingly agreed to spend an elephantine, wrongful and unconscionable US$48 million on so-called “operational expenses” for the 13th African Games to be hosted in Ghana between March 5 and March 23, 2024. [Refer to intercepted documents attached.]

2. It must be noted that this staggering US$48 million is an entirely different amount from the mega US$195 million (GHS2.4 billion) already spent on infrastructure for the games.

3. At the prevailing exchange rate, US$48 million is equivalent to a colossal GHS602 million.

4. A careful reading of the intercepted February 13, 2024, letter signed by the LOC Executive Chairman, Dr. Kwaku Ofosu-Asare, confirms that this ginormous US$48 million (GHS602 million) will be spent in less than a three week period (18 days). This translates into a 6-day weekly expenditure on “operational expenses” of a mind boggling GHS200.6 million and an even more incredible daily “operational expenses” of GHS33.4 million.

5. It is most instructive to note that apart from the blatant profligacy and reckless wastefulness by the leader of a bankrupt, debt-distress IMF bailout country; President Akufo-Addo’s conduct is absolutely wrong because Parliament approved GHS100 million under Goods and Services and then GHS50 million for Capital Expenditure for the 2024 expenditure by the Ministry of Youth and Sports on the 13th African Games. [See page 230 of 2024 Budget as attached.]. It is therefore totally lawless and utterly repugnant for President Akufo-Addo to unilaterally vary by more than six times what Parliament has approved for non-CapEX — that is from GHS100 million to GHS602 million.

6. The intercepted documents confirm that despite Parliament’s approval of only GHS100 million, President Akufo-Addo instructed the LOC to send out official request letters as recent as February 13, 2024, in which they defy Parliament and communicate their outlandish, unlawful and unjustifiable US$48 million (GHS602 million).

7. It is regrettable to note that instead of President Akufo-Addo and his appointees at the Sports Ministry and LOC acknowledging Ghana’s current economic crisis and slashing their ostentatious US$48 million (GHS602 million) “operational expenses” budget, he rather proceeded to personally chair fundraising meetings on the 6th and 7th of November, 2023, at the Jubilee House with an objective of raising the US$48 million (GHS602 million). [See evidence of the President’s meetings attached].

8. A number of top executives who have received the Akufo-Addo-inspired US$48 million (GHS602 million) shocking request letter are outraged about the quantum for a broke country and the deliberate refusal to transparently present a breakdown.

9. Careful analysis of the entities President Akufo-Addo met during his now infamous fundraising engagements shows that the President is mainly interested in public funds either by targeting SOEs such as GNPC, Ghana Gas, BOST and GOIL; or by targeting private companies such as MacDan, Zoomlion, MODEC and Kosmos all noted for executing huge government contracts.

10. Additionally, the President’s conduct raises fundamental ethical questions: how did the President select these companies? What promises did President Akufo-Addo make to these CEOs? How can other companies compete fairly with these “presidential companies” in any competitive bidding process, particularly considering the current single-source procurement epidemic? After these companies present their US$5million sponsorship cash to the President’s misplaced fundraising campaign, how can taxpayers be assured of value for money in the projects these entities would execute?

11. Should GNPC, Ghana Gas, BOST and GOIL which belong to the Ghanaian people be compelled by President Akufo-Addo to sponsor his unconscionable GHS602 million 13th African Games “Operational Expenses” when these corporations could be allowed to make more meaningful investments in expanding their operations so they could create sustainable jobs for the youth and thereby help address Ghana’s acute youth unemployment?

12. Why are these SOEs beginning to make payments due to President Akufo-Addo’s unlawful pressure when they haven’t sought Parliamentary approval? The BOST management should prepare to answer questions in Parliament for the initial US$500,000.00 (GHS6.2million) it transferred to Akufo-Addo’s LOC a few days ago.

13. The Minority Caucus in Parliament, led by the dynamic Dr. Cassiel Ato Baah Forson will this week seek Speaker Bagbin’s blessings to summon the Sports Minister, Mustapha Ussif on their unlawful, ostentatious and unconscionable US$48million (GHS602million) “Operational Expenses” budget, which undermines the authority of Parliament. That will be a first step in a series of constitutional actions, not ruling out the possible impeachment of President Akufo-Addo, as we are determined to make sure the President doesn’t get away with another blatant “create, loot and share” scheme.

14. President Akufo-Addo’s unpatriotic and nation-wrecking act of approving and leading the collection of this gigantic US$48 million (GHS602 million) for so-called “Operational Expenses” for the 13th African Games deserves to be exposed and scuttled.

15. A government denying pensioners their life savings; a government unable to house VRA spillage victims who are still living in refugee-like tents after five months; a government unable to equip our hospitals including the renal unit of KATH, the imaging departments at Korle-Bu, Ridge, 37 and our regional hospitals; a government which claims it cannot subsidize dialysis treatment and prevent our compatriots from dying; a government unable to clear billions in arrears to contractors, independent power producers, school feeding caterers, public sector workers, teacher and nursing trainees, national service personnel, DACF, NHIS, GETFund; a government unable to employ thousands of young graduates who offered nursing and PharmD and have had to stay at home for years; a government which embarrassingly owed the Black Queens for many months until recent fierce mass agitations; and a government desperately seeking an IMF bailout must not be allowed to spend US$48million (GHS602million) for an 18-day event, particularly when Parliament has generously approved GHS100million. We shall surely defeat this lootocratic scheme!

For God and country.

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