The Auditor-General has directed the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) to, in line with the Sports Act, 2016 (Act 934), develop policies regarding the operations and maintenance of Ghana’s stadia for the National Sports Authority (NSA).
According to the Auditor-General, doing this would assist the board and management of the Authority to implement and put in place a mechanism to monitor and evaluate the implementation of policies to ensure the physical and financial sustainability of the various sports stadia across the country.
In an audit of the sports infrastructure of the country covering the years 2012 to 2018, the Auditor-General said the sector currently does not have the guideline to direct the operations of the various stadia in the country.
“We noted that MoYS did not have a policy on operations and maintenance of the stadia, and NSA did not also have a plan to operate and maintain the various stadia.
“Management of MoYS and NSA did not also have monitoring and evaluation strategies to evaluate performance of the various stadia to ensure their physical and financial sustainability,” then report signed by the Auditor-General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo said.
The audit report, a copy of which has been forwarded to the Speaker of Parliament for action, was to find out whether the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) and the National Sports Authority (NSA) have carried out their oversight responsibilities and implemented measures to ensure the physical and financial sustainability of sports stadia.
Then facilities include the Accra, Kumasi, Essipon, and Tamale which were refurbished and constructed from scratch respectively for the 26th edition of the African Cup of Nations in 2008 and the Cape Coast Stadium constructed in 2016.
The above facilities had been reported to be in bad shape with corroding metals, non-functional electronic scoreboards, broken seats, leaking roofs amongst others.
In the view of the Auditor-General, the five stadia handed over to the National Sports Authority through the Ministry of Youth and Sports to operate and maintain were not physically and financially sustainable.
The report revealed that despite the contractors claiming that they had furnished the MoYS with Operations and Maintenance Manual on how to maintain the facilities, the Ministry claimed it had not received such documents.
“I also recommended that in the immediate to short term, NSA through MoYS should request for the operations and maintenance manuals from the contractors who constructed the stadia and put together a team of experts to evaluate the maintenance needs of the stadia and come up with a sustainable plan for maintenance,” Mr Domelevo said.
Maintenance of structures, the A-G said, would ensure that the structure continued to function and meet the required quality standards throughout its anticipated lifetime adding that “maintenance if carried out as required can also extend the life of the asset beyond the original design life.
“MoYS and NSA Board did not carry out their oversight responsibilities effectively. NSA did not have operations and maintenance manuals as well as maintenance plans to carry out maintenance works and there were no strategies and control mechanisms in place to ensure that the commercial facilities were put to optimum use to generate revenue.
“If the facilities had been managed well, the need for the National Sports Authority to depend on government for financial support will have been minimised. To make the stadia sustainable, there is the need to maintain and renovate them to meet the current needs of users,” the report noted.
To find a solution to this, the report urged the NSA Board to revise the existing corporate plan or develop a new one to provide NSA with a strategic direction, charging the management of the Authority to draw up annual plans from the corporate plan and put in place mechanisms for implementation.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI