Editorial

Govt’s ‘One Constituency One AstroTurf Policy’ progressing

Mr Mustapha Ussif, Minister for Youth and Sports, yesterday said government‘s “One Constituency One AstroTurf Policy”, is to ensure that every constituency in the country is provided with sporting facilities.

He said as part of government’s efforts to provide sporting infrastructure, the ministry has initiated various projects for the provision of pitches and other sporting facilities.

Mr Ussif made these known when he was answering questions from Members of Parliament, who wanted to know the state of projects on sporting facilities, currently ongoing in some constituencies.

He said that the contract for the construction of AstroTurf, in Suhum, in the Eastern Region, was awarded to Akyemansa Services Limited, on September 8, 2018, and was being funded by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation Foundation.

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Mr Ussif stated that the contractor has been paid 70 per cent of the contract sum with the rest being paid upon completion by the end of the year. 

He said the AstroTurfs at Wassa Akropong and Atebubu were being sponsored by Coastal Development Authority and Middle Belt Development Authority respectively.

Mr Ussif said that the Wassa Akropong project has been completed and would soon be inaugurated while that of Atebubu was ongoing.

He said in the interim, the ministry with its budgetary allocation and in partnership with other public and private institutions coupled with benevolent individuals would be engaged to provide AstroTurfs in some of the constituencies, to ensure that, no constituency was left out.

The Minister said the Nkawkaw Sports Stadium project, which was started in 2020, had to be put on hold.

He said currently, architectural review has been completed with the contractor being expected to move to site to continue work.

Mr Ussif said that the cost of the project estimated at GH¢ 27 million, would have an 8,000-seater FIFA Standard Stadium with a multi-purpose court for more than 16 sporting disciplines, tennis court, a gymnasium, World Athletics Standard track and hostels, among others.

The minister said the project, which would be in two phases with the first phase costing GH¢ 14 million and the second phase costing GH¢13 million, would be completed within two years with funds from the Middle Belt Development Authority.

He said the Azumah Nelson Sports Complex, Youth Development Centre, was part of the 10 youth centres being developed across the former 10 regions for the benefit of the youth, with plans to provide same for the new six regions.

Mr Ussif said the project initiated in 2017, was expected to be completed in less than one year with funds from the five per cent of the District Assemblies Common Fund allocated to the National Youth Authority.

He said subsequently, there were contract variations, followed by stalling of the construction works due to financial constraints, adding: “I must say that, as to when funds were made available, the contractor will move to site to complete the project.”

Mr Ussif said the work on the University of Ghana Stadium was progressing to host All Africa Games to be hosted by Ghana in 2023.

He indicated that since the project needed to be completed in six months before the games, to allow for testing and validation, the contractor has adopted innovative strategies to meet the timeline.

BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI

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