The MTN African Nations Cup Local Organisation Committee (LOC) claims it has spent $157.2 million so far on the rehabilitation and construction of five stadia that will host the continental tournament that kicks off January 20 in Accra, Ghana.
Information gathered from local media in the West African country over the weekend showed that the amount exceeded the $152.1 million initially projected by $5.1 million
It gathered was that the rehabilitated stadia are the famous Ohene Djan Stadium, the El-Wak Stadium in Accra and the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, while the newly constructed ones are at Tamale and Sekondi.
Ghana’s Director of Budget at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Kwabena Adjei-Mensah, disclosed this in interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra.
He noted that the increase in the projects cost was due to the construction of additional facilities, adding that "the expansion would accommodate more media men and equipment for effective coverage of the tournament as well as additional work at various areas of the stadia as recommended by the inspection team of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), anytime they come around".
He revealed that costs for the Ohehe Djan stadium that had initially been pegged at $39million had shot up to $49million upon completion, due to addition works. He said the government also had to spend an additional $1million on the Baba Yara Stadium, which was initially pegged at $36million.
Mr Adjei-Mensah said the projects had been executed properly in spite of the cost, adding that it was the urgency of the project for hosting of the Nations Cup and to please the CAF inspection teams that "the amounts were released on request".
He, however, noted that some minor savings were made in some areas, particularly on the Tamale, Sekondi and El-Wak projects, which had been estimated to cost $77 million, but had eventually cost $71 million.
He said the entire project costs would be reviewed after the tournament to ensure proper accountability.