The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) on Monday, commissioned and handed over a GH¢4,066,102.19 Sports Complex to the chiefs and people of Tema-Newtown in the Tema East Constituency of the Greater Accra Region.
The facility, named Nii Adjei Kraku II Sports Complex, after the late Paramount Chief of Tema, consists of a standard FIFA size Astro turf pitch, a 1,000-seater capacity spectator stand, a VIP stand and changing rooms, a multi-purpose side court for volleyball and basketball.
Other features of the facility constructed by Wembley Sports Construction Limited (WSCL) included a lawn tennis court, a playground for kids, additional changing rooms and facilities under the spectator stand and eight commercial stores complemented by the requisite drains and superstructure.
Speaking at the commissioning, Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, said the construction of the facility by GPHA, added to the already 30 modern Astro turfs constructed by the government across the country to help unearth and develop sporting talents of the youth.
In addition to other youth intervention programmes such as the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), Nation Builders Corps and National Youth Authority, Mr Asiamah believed that one of the surest ways to get the youth off the street was the establishment of such facilities to ensure that the youth spent their time profitably.
According to him, the youth formed the majority of citizenry and population of the country with its accompanying rate of unemployment, so the government could not sit aloof without innovations to proffer solutions to issues that confronted them.
“It is the belief of the government that having such facilities spread across the country would significantly impact efforts at youth employment and ensure a healthy population through sports and games,” he said.
He urged other public sector agencies to emulate the gesture of GPHA by reaching out to communities in their operational areas and lending support to them. “This way, we will be taking care of the social needs of the people, while taking some of the burden off the shoulders of government.”
Director General of GPHA, Michel Luguje, stated that the decision to construct the facility was taken in conjunction with the leadership of the Tema Traditional Council based on needs assessment premised on their desire to see the fruition of the project.
Though originally not part of the project, Mr Luguje assured that the Authority would later construct a fence wall at a cost of GH¢900,000 around the facility.
He hoped that the facility would be beneficial to the community and would help in no small measure to shape and empower the youth as far as raising responsible young people for the country was concerned.
“This facility should serve as a uniting factor in the community where people are seen engaging in various sporting activities to keep fit and to bond.”
He said the purpose of adding eight shops to the project design, was to raise revenue through rentals and other associated revenue channels to serve as a source of fund to maintain the facility knowing the cost of maintenance would be borne by Traditional Council.
Mr Luguje expected the Council to institute managers of the facility to also introduce reasonable user fee for persons and organisations who would request to use the edifice.
He acknowledged Mr Ofori Asiamah and the GPHA board for their approval, former DG of GPHA Paul Asare Ansah and former Member of Parliament for Tema East, Daniel Titus Glover, for his pioneering role in the project.
FROM KEN AFEDZI, TEMA