Kweku Baako, the Managing Editor of the Crusading Guide newspaper has backed calls by John Dramani Mahama, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the Ghana Cocoa Board to make public the audit report on the Cocoa Roads Project.
According to Baako, it will be in the interest of COCOBOD to make Ghanaians aware of why they suspended the projects and subsequently terminated agreements with some of the contractors.
He said that in line with the principle of transparency, probity and accountability, it is important that a public institution that COCOBOD is account to Ghanaians.
Kweku Baako appealed to the management of COCOBOD to publish the report.
The veteran journalist who disclosed that he has intercepted the report said that a publication will vindicate COCOBOD.
“I don’t understand why they are keeping the report. No matter the reasons which are being given, I don’t agree. When you publish such reports, it helps. It ensures transparency, accountability and probity. There might be very good reasons that support the decision not to publish but to make it available to whoever applies for it. But if I can apply for it then you must as well publish, especially the executive summary. It helps”. “It doesn’t help anybody’s cause including COCOBOD if this report remains confidential, classified and unpublished. I’m yet to be convinced by the reasons proffered by the COCOBOD management as to why this report can’t be published. I have intercepted a copy. I have made an appeal that, that decision should be reviewed”.
Last week, flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress, John Dramani Mahama demanded that COCOBOD make public what it discovered from the audit.
Mahama in a tour of the Western North Region accused the Akufo-Addo administration government of deliberately abandoning projects started by his government.
“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 former president noted.
“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.
Meanwhile, the CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Boahen Aidoo has asked persons interested in the report to apply for it.