Parliament did not approve AFCON 2023 budget – Okudzeto Ablakwa
Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has revealed that the house did not approve the $8.5 million AFCON budget before Ghana’s participation at the tournament in Ivory Coast.
Ghana failed to progress beyond the group stage of the competition for the second successive time but even before the dust settles on the team’s poor performance, it is emerging that the Sports Ministry and the GFA failed to appear before Parliament to defend the budget for the tournament as required by law.
Speaking on Luv FM on Tuesday, Mr Ablakwa hinted that, both the Sports Ministry and the GFA were strangely dodgy when called upon to present the budget to Parliament with flimsy excuses raising suspicion amongst some members of parliament including himself.
“First of all let me stress that I became suspicious when all efforts in Parliament to get the government and the FA to disclose the amount of money they had budgeted for the AFCON led to nothing,” he said.
“They were stonewalling, they were coming up with all sorts of flimsy excuses, that they had not finalized the budget and that we should allow them to go and come and all that. But the point must be made that our laws and the constitution is clear, the Public Financial Management Act is clear that you cannot go and spend public funds without parliamentary approval.
“You must submit these budgets to parliament and get approval before you go and spend. It doesn’t happen anywhere, it is as if we have become a banana republic or lawless jungle where people do whatever they want.”
Ablakwa says both the Ministry and the GFA are still not forthcoming with the budget almost a week after returning from the competition.
“Now they have been back for many days and they still haven’t disclosed the budget so that is what prompted me was that, when public officials go to this extent to conceal information from the people it means that they are not proud of their actions,” he added.
“They do not want the people to have the information because a lot has gone wrong.”