By Stephen Asante,
Kumasi, April 19, GNA - The National Sports Authority (NSA) has been urged to become more business-oriented and find innovative ways of generating more revenue.
Mr. Isaac Kwame Asiamah, Youth and Sports Minister, asked that it set up vibrant marketing department, particularly at the regional level, to identify potential areas, where it could make money to complement government’s budgetary allocation.
He was speaking at a meeting with workers of the NSA in Kumasi, after his inspection of the 40,000 capacity Baba Yara Sports Stadium.
The Minister said the situation where it had been relying largely on government funding had not been helpful and needed to radically change.
It should be in a position to explore other finance streams, to keep in good condition, the sporting facilities.
Mr. Asiamah’s call comes against the background of the non-maintenance of the state-owned sports stadia because of the lack of funds.
The regional directorates of the NSA had over the past three years not received any subvention and this had been making it difficult for them to get things fixed.
Presently, more than 8, 000 seats at the Baba Yara Stadium had been damaged, the tartan tracks destroyed, with the score board, elevator and central uninterrupted power supply (UPS) system, dysfunctional.
Constructed in the late 1960s by the United African Company, the Stadium saw a major facelift in 1978, when Ghana hosted the African Cup of Nations (AFCoN) in Ghana.
The last time it was refurbished was during the AFCoN Ghana 2008.
The facilities there had since been left to deteriorate because of the absence of a proper maintenance regime.
Mr. Asiamah announced the start of a structural integrity assessment of all state-owned facilities by his ministry to know the extent of damage and move quickly to repair the damage.
This is necessary as the nation has plans to bid to host international tournaments in the future.
He said it was therefore only prudent that the sporting facilities were upgraded to meet the required standards.
He assured the staff of the NSA of the government’s unwavering resolve to improve their working conditions to motivate them to perform.
Mr. Richard Iddrisu, the Ashanti Regional Sports Director, appealed to the Minister to do everything to ensure the rehabilitation of the Baba Yara Stadium.