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We spent part of GHC 2 Million Fund on Research as Advised by Gov’t- Bessa Simons

The Vice President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), Bessa Simons has denied allegations by some stakeholders of the music industry claiming GH¢2 million given to the music sector by the government in 2012 was siphoned by executive members of MUSIGA. In the 2012 budget report read on November 2011, the government allotted GH¢2 […]

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The Vice President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), Bessa Simons has denied allegations by some stakeholders of the music industry claiming GH¢2 million given to the music sector by the government in 2012 was siphoned by executive members of MUSIGA.

In the 2012 budget report read on November 2011, the government allotted GH¢2 million to MUSIGA.

The president of the union, Bice Osei Kuffuor, better known as Obour, has been under intense criticism with respect to the money provided by the government.

In an interview with Kasapafmonline.com, Mr. Bessa Simons explained that MUSIGA has conducted only one research which was funded and advised by the government in order to make available important documents which will help in the government’s easy involvement in the smooth operation of the Union.

According to him, part of the GH¢2 million was spent to conduct research into the Gross Domestic Product of the music sector.

“The only research we did was the research with the fund from the government. And they advised us to do that. The government does not know how much we contribute to the GDP, so they suggested that if we have that print there, then people can asses and see how we contribute and how they can make us contribute more to the GDP.

“In doing so, Government gave us money, we got KPMG to do the research. And that research is what the government is using now to do anything for the creative arts.” Bessa said

Some stakeholders of the union have stated that the amount of money in question could have been used to rectify almost all the problems that the union as a whole faced instead of the distribution of these monies as loans.

Bessa in his opinion thinks the amount given by the government was efficiently used for the intended purpose by the union.

“Definitely, I was here when the money came. I was part of the team that lobbied for it. And there was no way we were going to use it for any other thing.

“I mean a lot of musicians wanted us to share it. But there was no way. Because if we shared the money amongst the musicians, how were we going to account to the government?” Bessa added

Bessa Simons also made it known that MUSIGA generally struggles with financial issues and thus aside the fact that there is no way for anybody to steal money, there is most importantly no money to be stolen. Therefore he is pleading that these claims and accusations of anybody embezzling anything in the union should stop.

“MUSIGA does not make money from anywhere. The small money MUSIGA makes is from either clients or the little dues that come in. And MUSIGA cannot sustain itself on the dues that people pay because not many people pay the dues. So where are the funds that they are going to embezzle?

“Most of the time we have to top up from our own pockets to make it work, because we don’t want MUSIGA to collapse, until such time we will lobby and get the government that will understand what the creative arts adds to the GDP.”

Bessa is a celebrated producer who has worked with greatest names in West African Music such as Pat Thomas, Papa Yankson, Kari Bannerman, Osibisa, C.K. Mann, Ebo Taylor and Multi-talented Afro-pop musician Gyedu Blay Ambolley.

Source: kasapafmonline

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