Black Stars’ Account
Former Minister of Youth & Sports (MOYS), Hon. Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah has told the Justice Dzamefe Commission investigating Ghana’s participation at the World Cup that when he left office, there was four million, four hundred and forty-four thousand, fifty-three dollars and fifty nine cents ($4, 444, 053.59) left in the ministry’s coffers.
The records show that this was the balance of the actual amount of $8,918,945.06 received from government for the World Cup.
Government had released into MOYS coffers a total amount of $9,417,024.87 in Ghana cedi equivalent but that reduced to $8,918,945.06 due to exchange loss of $404,841.94 plus bank charges of $93,237.87 which add up to $498,079.81.
This clears a misconception that the minister had “squandered” all the $9 million released by government.
It also means that the former Youth & Sports Minister’s cannot be held to account for $4, 444, 053.59 of the $9,417,024.87.
There is a separate accountant opened at Zenith Bank for the sponsorship that came from corporate Ghana. This was the money used in taking care of the Ghanaian supporters to and from Brazil.
Records show that the Corporate Ghana sponsorship drive yielded $4,509,635.00 at the time of the former Youth & Sports minister’s exit, with additional inflows still coming in to date, according to Hon. Afriyie-Ankrah.
When the Committee was formed, an account named MOYS-FIFA WORLD CUP 2014 was opened with Zenith Bank. This is because the bank had agreed to be the partner bank of the Ministry Of Youth And Sports, and provided seed money of GHC 230,000 as its contribution towards the fundraising drive of the ministry for the World Cup.
Before the account was opened, the Ministry had written to Bank of Ghana and Controller & Accountant General’s Department for authorisation.
There are four signatories to the account made up of Alhaji Yakubu Abdulai [A], Chief Director of the MOYS, Mr. Prosper Quarshie Apasu [B], Chief Accountant of MOYS, Alhaji Rex Sumani [A], Deputy Chief Director, Madam Seini Hawa [B], Deputy Chief Accountant of MOYS.
Mandate of account
According to the mandate on the account the chief director and chief accountant A & B must sign at all times and the former Sports Minister told the Commission that the processes for accessing the account were as rigorous as that of any MDA.
This fact exposes yet again the falsity of the claim that Hon. Afriyie-Ankrah had stashed the World Cup monies raised from sponsorship by the ministry in his personal account and dishing it out as he felt like it.
It has been placed on record that as at the time Hon. Afriyie-Ankrah left the ministry, following his sudden removal from that office by President John Dramani Mahama whiles he was still in Brazil, there was a rigid approval process to be religiously followed in accessing monies from the account, which is still believed to be the case under the current tenure of the new minister.
The approval process begins with the Secretariat, which is represented by a project coordinator officially appointed by the ministry who collates all invoices.
The Chief Director then receives all the invoices from the project coordinator, which he studies and analyses and forwards to Internal Audit for vetting.
Internal Audit further scrutinises and approves or otherwise, and returns documents to the chief director with recommendations, if any.
The Chief Director then makes his own recommendations to the Minister who studies the documentation received and if satisfied, approves.
With all the processes followed satisfactorily, the Chief Accountant then initiates payment.
Indeed, if a key player was not satisfied with any invoice and supporting document(s), a query was raised and payment was declined. These measures were put in place by the former minister in order to ensure that the system guaranteed transparency and accountability in safeguarding state funds.
In 2006 and 20010, virtually all expenses incurred on supporters at the World Cup were paid borne by government. These included their accommodation, feeding, chattered aircraft and tickets.
In 2010, apart from all these, the World Cup Committee, under the supervision of then Minister of Youth & Sports and current Ghanaian Ambassador to Germany, Hon. Akua Dansua, had received seed money of three million Ghana cedis (GH?3,000,000.00) from the Atta Mills-led government.
Hon Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah’s tenure enjoyed no such largesse from government. Current economic challenges dictated government’s decision not to use scare resources to send supporters to Brazil.
The World Cup committee under him had had to work extra hard in mobilizing through corporate sponsorships for supporters to be able to make the trip.