The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has challenged former President John Dramani Mahama to respond to claims that he left behind cocoa road projects without any funding, instead of demanding for the audit report of cocoa roads.
Speaking at Bopa as part of his tour of the Western North Region, the former President dared the government to produce the said report, adding that the government has deliberately started reconstructing the cocoa roads few months to the election for political gains.
Speaking at a press conference on the Cocoa sector, Joseph Boahen Aidoo justified the need for the audit.
“When we look at the cost, more than 70 percent of the capital outlay that we were going to pay in terms of cocoa roads, was going to go into just highways and urban roads. Immediately the board advised that we had to focus on feeder roads and primary evacuation roads which were critical for the evacuation of cocoa and fertilizers to the farmers. So I don’t know where the former president is coming from to demand for the audit report. The whole audit is that he left behind cocoa road projects without any money, if he says that is not true he should come out and deny it.”
The Mahama administration was accused of awarding over 230 road contracts to the tune of GHS3.5 billion under the cocoa road projects to the detriment of COCOBOD’s finances.
The New Patriotic Party government therefore halted the construction of the cocoa roads across the country in 2017 over corruption concerns.
But the former President said, “They abandoned the projects because of sabotage and politics. Because they realized we are close to elections, they have started work on the roads again. I want to know where the audit report is. I am here at Bopa asking the NPP government to publish the audit reports on cocoa roads for everyone to see.”
“The laws of Ghana indicate that if a government starts a project and loses the elections, it is incumbent on the next government to continue with the projects. But this is not what we are seeing. When the NDC was voted out of power, there were a lot of contractors working on projects, but when this government took over, they halted all of them, saying it was auditing them. It has been four years now and I believe that even if it was the Bible we were reading, we would have covered from Genesis to Revelations by now,” he added.
Mahama said he believes the NDC will be voted back into power in December 2020 to complete the projects they started.
“NDC started the projects, and I know by the Grace of God, we will come back and complete such projects.”
Audit report on cocoa roads will be published at ‘appropriate time’- Osafo Maafo
Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, when asked on the Citi Breakfast Show in November 2019 about the whereabouts of the report on the audit of cocoa roads commissioned by the Akufo-Addo administration, said it will be published at the “appropriate time,”
He assured that the government is “not hiding the audit report”.