Accountability key as federations get funding ring-fenced

Deliberations. Minister Obua (L) and Fufa president Magogo at a recent meeting. PHOTO | JOHN BATANUDDE

Despite the well publicized figures of the ‘breakdown’ of the Shs47.8 billion funding for sports in the newly read 2022/23 national budget, federations do not have it all clear.

Fufa president Moses Magogo went on record on Monday with the breakdown in the 10th National Sports Forum, a meeting where the federations meet National Council of Sports (NCS) and the State Minister for Sports, Denis Hamson Obua.

To be fair to Magogo, he read out a breakdown that has been in the public domain as the topic of increased funding for sports has been discussed on the floor of Parliament. And also as a Member of Parliament sitting on the Budget Committee, Magogo shared that “NCS had asked for Shs96bn but not all could be allocated. However, money for federations has been ring-fenced and cannot be diverted.”

Big events

However, there are also Commonwealth Games knocking on the door and preparations for the All Africa Games in Ghana next year are to start in earnest. These two competitions were allocated Shs7.1bn in a document, seen by Daily Monitor, written by the Clerk to Parliament Adolf Mwesige and addressed to the NCS accounting officer and general secretary Bernard Patrick Ogwel.

“Parliament in its sitting held on Friday, May 20, 2022 resolved that the following budgetary appropriations be allocated to the following sports federations,” Mwesige, said.

“Please note that Parliament also resolved that the funds allocated to the sports federations stated above are ring fenced.” There has been an ongoing debate in sports circles on what parameters should be used to allocate funding to federations. 

There have been arguments for ‘popularity of a discipline’ to back the ring-fencing of Shs10bn for football in the past while boxing head Moses Muhangi has been spearheading those that argue for ‘performance’ as a parameter. Both arguments seems to have won big as football has more Shs7bn added to it while boxing, netball and athletics, which are the cause of most of the joyous sports moments in the country was each allocated Shs3bn.

Cry for policy

Parliament’s wisdom to ring-fence the allocations as they deemed fit will not wash away the debate for a sports funding policy but it at least gives the federations a working threshold. 

“The debate should be on whether we can manage the funds. The moment we pass the accountability test and good use of this money, we shall get more. 

“If we fail and it causes wrangles, it will be taken away from us,” Magogo said as he urged federations to hire accountants and auditors to manage the funds. 

However, despite the excitement from federations, government releases money quarterly and the biggest chunk from the first quarter due next month could go to the July 28 to August 8 Games in Birmingham. 

These multi-sports competitions have previously been supported by supplementary budgets and NCS will welcome the idea to have their allocation made earlier.

Adjustments

In our June 15 story on the increased allocation of funding for sports from Shs17bn, Ogwel said there would be a “budget adjustment process to balance the funding but definitely, everyone will get more money.” 

He also said they needed to sit with federations to streamline priorities.

We have further contacted Ogwel on the breakdowns doing the rounds and he has insisted that the details of what everyone gets and when will come in July. In the same aforementioned Monday meeting, both Obua and Magogo also emphasized that the “information will be shared at an appropriate time through the appropriate channels.”

The news continues to be music to the ears of the hard-working federations.

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