The Manager in Charge of the Ghana Cocoa Board CEO’s office, Fiifi Boafo, has stated that GHc 5 million was spent by the Mahama government, not only to refurbish the guest house at Bole, but also construct additional facilities.
This comes after the office of John Mahama refuted claims that the former President influenced the construction of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana Research Station Guest House in his hometown of Bole, in the Northern Region with COCBOD funds, for his personal enjoyment.
A statement signed by his aide, Joyce Bawa Mogtari, clarified that the guest house has been in existence since 1975, and as a guest house, it provides accommodation services to officials of COCOBOD and others. She also said the decision by the Board of COCOBOD to renovate the facility, after many years of use was necessary.
Mr. Boafo, whose boss, Joseph Boahene Aidoo, had created an impression that the facility was entirely built, agreed that it was built in 1975, “however, additional facilities are being built in addition to what was there. What was there was refurbished and additional ones [facilities] put up.”
Aside from the contentions, Mr. Boafo questioned if the past government would describe the renovation at a cost of GHc 5 million as prudent.
“Is she [Joyce Bawa Mogtari] telling us that GHc5 million was used to refurbish an old building? Does she call that prudent use of cocoa money?” “Are they telling us that putting up that facility with Jacuzzis in Bole was prudent use of the cocoa farmers’ money,” he questioned further.
Mr. Boafo said COCOBOD was going to issue an official statement on the matter of the guest house at Bole, and added that the “incessant attacks” from the Minority in Parliament was pushing the current COCOBOD administration to come out “and tell the public that the Ghana COCOBOD as you see it is in a complete mess.”
Ill-conceived construction Contracts
The guest house claim came as part of allegations from the COCOBOD CEO in responding to allegations of mismanagement of the cocoa sector by the Minority in Parliament.
He said the” penchant to siphon funds through inflated contracts was rampant in the NDC administration through ill-conceived construction contracts in the cocoa sector.”
As an example, he noted that the contract to construct a 50,000 metric tonne warehouse at Tema was not considered to be financially and operationally prudent at the time, because COCOBOD already had enough warehousing capacity at Tema to sustain its operations.
He also said a US$24 million contract was awarded to demolish staff housing quarters in Tema that were in excellent condition, “only to construct new housing facilities raising several questions about the motive for the award of the contract.”
NDC cashed $400m cocoa loan after losing 2016 polls – COCOBOD
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana COCOBOD, Joseph Boahene Aidoo, said government is investigating the withdrawal of $400 million cedis out of the $1.8 billion cocoa syndicated loan secured for the 2016/2017 crop season, between December 20th and January 2017, when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, had already lost the 2016 elections and were on their way out of office.
The COCOBOD CEO says Ghanaians will soon know the outcome of their investigations into that transaction.
Ghc80m saved from NDC’s Ghc500m fertilizer contract – COCOBOD
He also revealed that, the new administration has saved the country some Ghc80 million, following the review of a fertilizer and chemical supplies contract of over GHC500 million, awarded by the John Mahama administration shortly before they left office, after losing the 2016 election.