As we scrutinize recent financial decisions involving the Ghana Football Association (GFA), it becomes unmistakably clear that the GFA’s budget raises concerns about questionable practices among GFA officials and the Dr. Bawumia-led NPP government. These practices challenge their commitment to the public purse and national interests, especially considering Ghana’s economic challenges.
Namibia, facing economic hurdles, allocated a modest $2 million for its Football Association, exemplifying responsible financial management. In contrast, Ghana, grappling with a high debt-to-GDP ratio and struggling with external debt payments, allocated an exorbitant $8,506,450.00 for the Black Stars’ AFCON 2024 campaign, showcasing a lack of fiscal responsibility.
However, it is essential to note that despite the projected long-term Ghana Government Debt to GDP being around 93.00 percent in 2024 and 91.50 percent in 2025, reliable sources suggest the actual figures may surpass these projections, hovering around 98 percent. This discrepancy emphasizes the apparent lack of prudence in financial decisions by the Ken Ofori Atta Finance Ministry and the GFA, reflecting a disregard for the economic welfare of Ghana.
Meanwhile, Namibia’s national team achieved a historic milestone by progressing to the knockout stages. In contrast, Ghana’s Black Stars, with a budget five times that of Namibia, failed to advance beyond the group stage, raising questions about the effectiveness of the allocated funds and the competency of those managing the team.
Government Accountability comes into question as President Nana Addo, in 2017, pledged to protect the public purse and ensure value for money in public transactions. However, the allocation of over $5 million to the Black Stars amidst economic struggles raises doubts about the government’s commitment to these promises. The GFA’s failure to account for the $10.5 million received from FIFA further heightens suspicions of financial mismanagement.
Dr. Bawumia’s NPP Government is marred with failed promises. The misallocation of funds to the Black Stars and the subsequent poor performance suggest a failure to fulfill promises of job creation and protection of the public purse. This raises questions about the government’s credibility and commitment to its citizens.
Unjustifiable spending in the midst of austerity is the hallmark of an incompetent government. The decision to spend lavishly on the Black Stars while the country grapples with financial challenges and a debt crisis calls into question the patriotism and priorities of the officials involved. The lack of consideration for the economic plight of the nation demonstrates a disregard for the welfare of Ghanaian taxpayers.
Ghanaian taxpayers must demand investigation and accountability. Given the gravity of the situation, there is an urgent need for a thorough performance audit of the GFA, spearheaded by an independent body. Additionally, an investigation into the actions of Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta and all GFA officials involved in financial decisions related to the AFCON 2024 budget is imperative.
The Ghanaian public deserves transparency and accountability in the management of their resources. The Ghana Football Association, with the apparent complicity of high-ranking government officials, has become a crime scene of corruption, undermining the nation’s economic well-being. What a shame!
Ebenezer Ato Ntarkurfah Jackson
Cornell University-Johnson School of Management
MBA Class of 2015