Residents in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis have bemoaned the slow pace of work at the renovation of the Essipon Sports Stadium.
According to them, there had not been much improvement in the state of the stadium since the announcement that the stadium was being renovated last year.
To them, it was as if there was no renovation ongoing.
The residents were angered by the statement by the Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori Atta during the 2022 budget reading in Parliament on Wednesday, November 17, that renovation at the Essipon stadium was 90 percent complete.
Many residents in the Metropolis expressed shock at what the Finance Minister said and have since demanded an apology from him for lying about the state of the stadium.
“I do not understand our leaders, why do they always lie to us. Go to the Essipon stadium and see for yourself if it is 90 percent complete”, a resident said.
The Member of Parliament for the Essikado Ketan, Mr. Joe Ghartey subsequently wrote to the Finance Ministry to seek further explanation.
“The Finance Minister in the budget statement delivered on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, stated that renovation on the Essipon stadium is 90 percent complete. My checks reveal otherwise. As a Member of Parliament for the area, I would be grateful if you could furnish me with an update of the said project which is located in my constituency”, the MP said in his letter.
The Essipon Sports Stadium was constructed some 14 years ago for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations tournament which was hosted by Ghana.
The stadium has since not seen any renovation and as a result, it has been in a deplorable state with a lot of defects.
The roofing of the VIP stands, for instance, was worn out and tattered which posed a risk for patrons for which, it was closed down
The Government in 2020 allocated an amount of GH¢17,969,447 as part of its policy to rehabilitate the various stadia in the country for renovation works to start on the stadium.
The first phase of the renovation was to remove and replace existing defective roofing sheets, as well as the damaged roof structural steel frame members and bolts.
However, when the Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited the stadium on Friday, November 27, the main entrances to the stadium were locked
The GNA noted that only a section of the roofing had been wielded with the place looking as if there was no renovation works ongoing.
A security man on site told the GNA that he had been instructed not to allow anyone to enter the stadium or else he would be sacked.
The bushy car park area was being cleared but the various drainage systems continued to be in a poor condition.
The interior of the stadium was full of rusted metals and grown weeds. The renovation works at the stadium did not look like it was 90 percent complete.
Sections of the glass windows of the dressing rooms of the training field detached from the main stadium had been broken with a lot of weeds around it.
The GNA met one worker on site who also complained about the slow pace of work.
According to him, only the wielding works had been done, adding that most of the materials they were using were stored in Accra.
The worker who preferred to be anonymous stated for example that all the paints to be used in painting the stadium were available but were in Accra.
The chairs to be fixed were all ready but were also in Accra, he added and wondered when they would be brought for them to complete the work.