Minister to provide cost of World Cup

Mr Mahama Ayariga, Youth and Sports Minister has been given two weeks to do the necessary consultations and furnish Parliament with the total cost incurred on the Black Stars at the 2014 World Cup.

The directive came from Mr Ebo Barton-Odro, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament on Wednesday on the floor of the House.

The directive was the ruling by the First Deputy Speaker after an almost one –hour argument on whether the Minister should provide the figures when a Commission of Enquiry had been established to look in matters including the cost being sought.

Mr Justice Joe Appiah; New Patriotic Party(NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma North had sought to know from the Minister the total cost.

However, the Minister in answer, among other things said: “The budget for the tournament and the eventual expenditure are among matters being considered by the Commission.”

“Accordingly, I wish to respectfully plead with you, Mr Speaker and my colleague Members of Parliament to allow the Commission to finalise and submit its report together with the details of all that transpired regarding Ghana’s participation in the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be made available to the House.”

Reactions mainly from the NPP impressed on the Minister to state the cost despite his insistent position that the Commission, which was a quasi- judicial body would have to finalise its work and present a report to the House.

The matter degenerated into a debate, with interventions from the Minority side including the Minority Leader-Osei-Kyei- Mensa Bonsu, Papa Owusu Ankoma; MP for Sekondi.

Mr Joe Osei Owusu (NPP- Bekwai) and Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah (NPP Akwapim South) and former Deputy Minister Sports, Ms Adwoa Safo (NPP Dome-Kwabenya) argued for the need for the Minister to furnish the figures.

To the Minority Leader, the position of the Minister was an affront to the dignity of Parliament and impeding its work.

Questioning whether the Commission is superior to Parliament, the Minority Leader pressed for the Minister to release the cost and asked what had become of earlier committees.

Papa Ankoma said the position of the Minister is undermining the work of Parliament and him to go to court and not Parliament for a ruling on whether to let Parliament know the cost.

When Mr Amoah had the floor he expressed the view that per the view of the Minister, the House could not consider the 2015 budget of the Sports Ministry until the Commission finished its work.

Other arguments raised expressed the view that so far as the question has been admitted by the Speaker it should be answered by the Minister.

In the ruling of the First Deputy Speaker, he indicated that the question was admitted on July 2, 2014, while Commission of Enquiry was set up on August 15, 2014.

The Minister requested time to furnish the answer, and the Speaker gave him two weeks.

Meanwhile the supposed swearing in of the Speaker Mr Doe Adjaho to perform the duties of the President of Ghana due the absence of President John Mahama and Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur in the country due to official duties did not come on.

The Speaker, who earlier sat in the Chair, informed the House that he had had a extensive consultations with the Chief Justice, and the consensus was that he would not have to subscribe to another oath since he swore a similar one on September 19.

While congratulating the Speaker on his new role in the absence of the President and the Vice, Members were of the opinion that that oath was for that period.

Members observed that the matter had to be considered again by the Constitution. GNA

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