Kobena Woyome, MP for South Tongu, has chastised Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister for peddling falsehood while delivering the 2022 budget statement in Parliament on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.
The MP who is also the Ranking Member on the Youth and Sports Committee in Parliament described the minister’s assertion that the Sekondi Sports Stadium, known popularly as Essipong Stadium is 90% complete as misleading and untruthful.
Ken Ofori-Atta while before Parliament read among other things that, the government of Ghana has almost completed the renovation of some stadia.
“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.
In a reaction, the NDC MP stated on Joy FM, Monday, November 22, that GH₵18 million was approved in 2018/2019 for the renovation works on the stadia the finance minister spoke about in his budget presentation and since then, there have not been any funds allocated for the project in subsequent budgets for the project to be continued.
He revealed that checks by the Youth and Sports Committee proved something different from what the finance minister said on the floor of Parliament.
“Now, where we are currently as we speak, we are aware that nothing really has gone on as far as Essipong is concerned. And so, I was thinking that the government would have come out clearly and be candid with the people, that, look; this is where we are, this is how much has been released to the contractor and this is what the contractor has been able to do.
“But then to put a statistic to it that they have completed about 90% as contained in paragraph 976 of the budget statement and with our checks and some of the photos before us, it is clear that, government through the Finance Minister to Parliament, to the entire country, has not been truthful,” Kobena Woyome explained.
Since Ken Ofori-Atta made these statements in Parliament, there have been many reactions from residents of Essipong in the Essikado-Ketan constituency.
The people of the town in some media reports expressed their displeasure with the statement of the minister and have since asked him to come clean.
Joe Ghartey, an NPP MP for Essikado-Ketan constituency, has also issued a statement asking the Finance Minister and the Sports Minister, Mustapha Ussif to provide details on the facility which is visibly in ruins, taken over by weeds, reptiles, spiders and cobwebs.
In a letter dated November 19th, 2021, Ghartey, a former Minister of Railway Development in the Akufo-Addo government, wants Mustapha Ussif to provide details on the claims of “the Finance Minister in the Budget Statement delivered on Wednesday, 17th November, 2021” stating “that the rehabilitation works on the Essipong stadium is 90% completed.”
Ghartey added, “My checks reveal otherwise. As a 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.
“Furthermore, if the information given is inaccurate, please furnish the Finance Minister with the accurate information to enable him to advise himself accordingly. The project is of great interest to me and my constituents,” the former Minister of Justice and Attorney General in the Kufuor Administration added.