General News Wed, 7 Jan 2004

"Financial Loss" Rice Project Back On Track

Moves to get the Aveyime rice project fully operational have reached an advanced stage with the appointment of a consultant to study the various bids submitted by interested companies.

Last year government set in motion a process to find an investor for the project for which some former senior government officials are serving jail sentences.

The Quality Grain Company owned by jailed Black American businesswoman, Juliet Cotton, started the Aveyime Rice Project. The idea was to reduce the country’s annual importation of rice. When the NPP came into office, investigations into the project revealed that Juliet Cotton had ripped off the country.

The Government then took possession of the project and asked that interested investors submit bids to run it in line with its policy of golden age of business for private investors. The schedule officer for the project, Julius Hukporti told JOYNEWS that the Ministry of food and Agriculture received bids from a number of investors. Subsequently a consultant was sort after to look at the various bids submitted. The ministry finally settled on a consultant last week.

On the current state of the project, Mr. Hukporti noted that the milling plant has at the project site is already being used by an investor. This investor called Bonsu and Bordom has signed a one-year memorandum of understanding with the ministry to operate the milling plant till August this year.

According to Mr. Hukporti, it does not mean that government or the ministry has already gotten an investor to run the Aveyime Rice Project. He assured that any decision on the project will be taken with the interest of Ghanaians in mind.

Source: JoyNews