The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for the Accra 2023 African Games has announced plans to acquire 332 vehicles to cater to transportation needs during the three-week sporting event. The procurement details are outlined in the LOC's Transport Management Handbook for the Games, specifying the acquisition of 55 buses, 29 Land Cruisers, 106 Saloon Cars, 26 minibuses, 78 Wagons, 30 Ayalolo buses, 5 trucks, and 3 Toyota Land Cruiser Prados for the tournament.
While the document does not disclose the estimated cost of the vehicles, a separate letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officer of the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) and signed by LOC Chairman, Dr. Kwaku Ofosu Asare, has stirred controversy. The letter, exposed by MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, indicates a staggering budget of US$48 million (GHS602 million) earmarked for “operational expenses” during the tournament. This budget, six times higher than Parliament's approved GH¢100 million, equates to a weekly expenditure of GHS200.6 million and a daily operational cost of GH¢33.4 million for the 18-day competition.
Ablakwa has revealed that BOST, approached for sponsorship by the LOC, has already contributed US$500,000 towards their support for the Games. The controversy surrounding the budget comes as the country prepares to host the African Games from March 8-23, 2024, with an expected influx of approximately 8,000 athletes, technical officials, and medical personnel.
The revelations have sparked discussions and raised questions about the transparency and allocation of funds within the LOC, especially given the significant difference between the approved parliamentary budget and the disclosed operational expenses. As public scrutiny intensifies, the LOC faces growing pressure to provide a detailed breakdown of the budget and to address concerns about financial prudence in organizing the prestigious African Games.