GNPC will rather construct pitches than support Black Stars - Baah Nuakoh
The head of sustainability at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Dr Kwame Baah-Nuakoh says his outfit decided to stop sponsoring the Black Stars because they got negative mileage for their association with the senior national football team.
Last year, the country’s parliament ordered the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to stop spending resources on non-core activities, including sponsoring the Ghana Black Stars.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the deal was abrogated, Dr Baah-Nuakoh said “GNPC was known for sponsoring the Black Stars which gave us a lot of negative mileage but what have done? We are moving away from recurrent expenditure to capital expenditure so we are shifting resources from supporting travel of Black Star players to the construction of pitches and sporting facilities. For this year we are constructing five of the artificial pitches in support of government’s agenda to also provide sporting facilities around the country. We (GNPC) believe that will have a long term benefit to society than the Black Stars sponsorship that we were maligned for even though there was a good rational behind our decision to support the national team.”
Until the deal was stopped, GNPC paid $3 million annually to the national team as part of its sponsorship package, however, Parliament approved a report by Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) which recommended that the state corporation re-focuses its resources on core duties only.
The Black Stars of Ghana landed a sponsorship deal with GNPC in 2013 for the country’s crude oil resource managers to sponsor the senior national football team $3 million annually for five years.
Chairman of the Finance Committee Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah, who read the Finance Committee’s recommendation on the PIAC report, said PIAC noted that contrary to its core mandate, GNPC also extended financial assistance to Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) as well as Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) -- expenditure that the report found inappropriate.
“The Committee holds the view that GNPC should stick its core mandate. It, therefore, recommends that GNPC should stay away from all activities that do not come under its core function,” Dr. Assibey said on the floor of Parliament at the time.
Parliament had found GNPC's non-core expenditure troubling.
The Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy in April last year told GNPC to cancel the Black Stars annual sponsorship since it was not worth it.
Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu told Kumasi-based radio station Nhyira FM at the time that the Mines and Energy Committee was not ready to approve the amount in their (GNPC) budget slated for the Black Stars.
He said Ghana Football Association (GFA) should make a case at the Presidency if the Association wants the government to sponsor the team.