21st June 2024

Minority in Parliament is fighting off claims of wrongdoing against former President John Mahama in the awarding of road contracts during his tenure.

Ranking Member on Parliament’s Transport Committee Kwame Agbadza Governs has dared government to make public its audit report on the issues.

“There is no evidence that there was any wrongdoing in cocoa roads under Mahama… There is nothing proving that any of the procurement under even sole-sourcing was done wrongly because Section 40 was adhered to,” he told Evans Mensah.

Former President John Dramani Mahama earlier described as unjustifiable the move by the Akufo-Addo administration to abandon the cocoa roads project upon assumption of office.

The NPP at a news conference on Monday, however, provided some further information to support government’s decision to hold on to the infrastructural projects.

NPP’s Director of Communications, Yaw Buaben Asamoa explained that “Cocoa roads contracts awarded by the previous government, constituting 229 projects, amounted to some ¢5.1 billion.

“This was at a time when funds available to pay for road construction in total was only ¢1.7 billion. Specifically, for cocoa roads, the approved annual mounts averaged ¢500 million for the Cocobod Infrastructural Development Trust Fund for the entire five year period for the programme.”

Mr Buaben Asamoa indicated that the suspension of the projects “allowed for a re-scoping and proper alignment of funds as well as open competitive bidding processes towards the award of new cocoa roads contracts.”

This assertion was also backed by the CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Joseph Boahen Aidoo on Joy FM’s Top Story.

But the NDC wants these allegations to be taken with a pinch of salt.

“If you’re looking for a government that is unable to be straight with the people, you stop cocoa roads and the roads deteriorate, you are not able to publish the report, yet you went doing this. Today a kilometre of Enchi-Elubo road of 71km will be $160 million?” said Kwame Agbodza Governs.

According to him, the inability of government to publish the audit report detailing the findings makes goes a long way to buttress the NDC’s claim of the process being a needless venture.

“Four years after the announcement of an audit into cocoa roads, the government of President Akufo-Addo can’t point you to a website or a location and they are now asking you to go and apply. That is a novelty,” he added.

He believes government has deliberately resumed the constructing the roads a few months to the election for political gains.

Meanwhile, the COCOBOD boss indicated that the details of the audit report cannot be made public.

He, however, added that one would have to go through ‘processes’ in order to acquire a copy.


Source: myjoyonline.com

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