Director of the National Sports Authority, Joe Kpenge, has confirmed that government will have to cough up US$ 47,000 to restore the full set of floodlights at the Accra Sports Stadium.
The NSA received a lot of flak after the referee, Joseph Lamptey ended the Mo Ibrahim Governance Cup between TP Mazembe and the Dream team abruptly due to poor visibility in the presence of President Mahama and Mo Ibrahim – (Founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation)
Some pundits have described the incident as a national disaster but Joe Kpenge expressed his surprise at hypocritical calls and insisted the lights will only return upon the payment of monies owed Lighten Gale –the company that installed the lights.
“Right from the President, Chief of Staff, the Sports Ministry and journalists, we have always known we have a problem with the floodlights at the Accra Stadium.”
“For years we have failed to pay the company that installed the lights for maintenance. Lighten Gale are demanding close to $47,000 before they attend to the lights.”
Joe Kpenge was further baffled at the hue and cry after the Mo Ibrahim Cup match.
“I’m surprised, because we all know the floodlights don’t work, the NSA even considered closing the stadium but we gave in because the activities of the Mo Ibrahim Governance Week were centered in Accra.”
When asked whether he felt betrayed by government and Ministry of Sports, he replied in the affirmative.
“I feel unhappy, probably a little frustrated, and also frustrated on the slow pace of working through a private public partnership to which we made proposals for not only the Accra Sports Stadium but the other stadia in the country.
“We submitted the proposals to the Ministry of Finance way back in June to find investors, to help us put our stadia back to life. I feel really sad.”
The Accra Stadium’s only major renovation since it was put up, was before the African Nations Cup in 2008 hosted by Ghana.
The floodlights issues may have come up now, but that’s truly the least of the stadium’s problems, the lack of water, rusting metals, poor turf maintenance, inconsistent electricity amongst others are teething issues that are gradually eating the nation’s Wembley away