Accra, July 13, GNA - Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports (EYS) has disclosed that his Ministry would soon start relocating all secretariats of sports associations from the Accra Sports Stadium.
The Minister made this known after a tour of the construction site of the new three billion cedi secretariat for the Ghana Football Association in Accra on Tuesday.
He said the relocation is to allow for construction work at the Accra and Kumasi Sports Stadiums to start in earnest for the hosting of the 2008 African Cup of Nations.
Mr Baah-Wiredu said the move is also to make the new secretariats more spacious to facilitate better work rather than the old cramped offices that presently houses them.
He congratulated the GFA for acquiring a permanent place of their own, saying this would give a good image for the association and play a significant role in the reawakening Ghana soccer.
Giving a brief background on the project that necessitated the acquisition of the new secretariat, Mr Kofi Nsiah, General Secretary of the GFA said before 1999, the Association was housed at the Accra Sports Stadium like the other associations under the National Sport Council (NSC).
He said just before Ghana hosted the African Youth Cup in 1999, the then Sports Minister, Mr Enoch Teye Mensah approached the Civil Servants Association for their abandoned canteen to use as an office for the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the competition.
Mr Nsiah said the present location for the secretariat was also used as the LOC secretariat for the 2000 African Cup of Nations, which Ghana co-hosted with Nigeria.
He said the GFA has ever since 2000 been housed at the LOC secretariat until recently when the Civil Service Association, owners of the property started pushing for its return and this created the need for the acquisition of the new site.
Mr Nsiah said the new site was acquired at a cost of 1.6 billion cedis from the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC) after the Executive Council of the GFA had rejected a site acquired during the Alhaji Nurudeen Jawula administration on the grounds that the place was too small.
He said refurbishment work on the building, which formerly belonged to the now defunct Ghana National Trading Company (GNTC) is costing 1.4 billion cedis bringing the total cost of the project to three billion cedis.
Mr Nsiah said the new secretariat would have eight offices, a boardroom, a conference room, a kitchenette in addition to other facilities.
He said the GFA is also in the process of acquiring a piece of land close to the secretariat to develop it into a multi-complex facility, which would have a guest house and a store among others.
When asked as to what the GFA would do with the rejected site, the GFA scribe said the association intends to resell the property and use the proceeds to facilitate the building of the new complex.
Mr Yeboah Asare of Avangarde Design Services, the consultants in charge of the project, said judging from the pace of the work so far undertaken, the internal fittings would be completed by the end of July for the association to move in the mean time whilst they work on the external finishing.