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I'll channel activities through NSA - in-coming Minister

                                The Minister designate for Youth and Sports, Isaac Kwame Asiamah, has argued that the Ghana Football Association (GFA) should channel all their activities through the National Sports Authority (NSA), which is the mother body of all sporting disciplines in the country instead of dealing directly with the ministry.

Mr Asiamah, who took his turn in the hot seat of ministerial nominees to be vetted yesterday by the Appointments Committee of Parliament, agreed that the football governing body enjoyed some level of autonomy but insisted the GFA must work with the NSA to ensure the effective distribution of resources.

"The GFA will have to work under the NSA to ensure that they are given the necessary resources for the effective running of their activities as they are answerable to Ghanaians", he said in response to a question on the future of the GFA.

The former member of the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Sports, was grilled on various topics, including funding, sports development, youth development, which is an integral part of his ministry, sports facilities, national teams, player bonuses and budget, as well as the just-ended AFCON tournament and its attendant issues.

On the way forward for the development of lesser-known sports, the Member of Parliament for Atwima said, "we need a legal framework for all the sporting disciplines, creating certain benchmarks and regulations for our sports".

"There are about 40 disciplines with talents in all and there will be the efforts to harness the potential we have in all these smaller disciplines", he added.

According to him, his vision on how to drive his mandate when it comes to youth development will focus on empowering the youth by creating the congenial atmosphere and providing resources in terms of quality education, skills and attitudinal development.

"We believe that we have to develop our structures to move the youth forward and we must do whatever it takes to empower our active youth. Our party in the 2016 manifesto took into consideration the development of youth through the Youth development Authority which will incorporate all the youth programs under one umbrella," he said.

With regard to using sports as a tool for development, Mr Asiamah noted that the country had not done enough to explore the contribution of sports to the GDP and promised to get the concerns of stakeholders to take full advantage of such huge potentials.

Answering questions on the Black Stars budget and bonuses, the nominee insisted that he would not deal directly with the GFA because they will liaise with the National Sports Authority.

"I will not directly negotiate bonuses for national team players. If anything, I will deal with the Sports Authority and not the FA. That is what the new Sports Act 2016 says. Mine is to initiate policies and allow the implementing agencies to execute them."

The Minister designate, however, appeared agitated when he was queried on the 2017 AFCON budget by his predecessor, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, prompting the chairman of the committee, Mr Joe Osei-Wusu, to calm him. 

Mr Asiamah was backed by traditional authorities and party excecutives from his constituency as well as the Director of the NSA and chief director of the ministry Mr Joe Kpengey and Mr Frank Quist respectively.
                                        

Source: Graphic.com.gh
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Author: Narh Ebenezer Albidar

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