Senior Manager of Public Affairs at the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Fiifi Boafo has dismissed claims by former President John Dramani Mahama and the NDC Minority Caucus in Parliament that the Akufo-Addo government spent a whopping $10 million to conduct an audit report on the cocoa roads awarded to contractors under the erstwhile Mahama administration.
Wondering how the leader of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) came by the figures, he dared him to provide evidence to back his claims.
“What I have heard from the former President Mahama is that the cocoa roads which he gave out on contracts, the NPP conducted an audit into it and we spent $10 million dollars. Kindly ask the former President to provide his evidence!”
“I would not argue with him because he has been a former Vice President and a former President before; I don’t want to rub shoulders with him but then I don’t know where he got that information about audit figure from . . . There is no truth in what he is saying and I don’t want to speak against him but I want him to provide his evidence to back his claim,” he stated.
The Minority in Parliament has been mounting pressure on officials of Cocobod to publish the report of a supposed audit conducted on cocoa roads in some parts of the country.
This comes after the Chief Executive Officer of the Board, Joseph Boahen Aidoo said the report of the audit conducted on the construction of cocoa roads in some parts of the country cannot be made public.
The Akufo-Addo administration suspended cocoa road projects in 2017 for an audit over what some believed to be corruption concerns.
The Mahama administration was among other things, accused of awarding over 230 different road contracts to the tune of GHc3.5 billion under the project, to the detriment of COCOBOD’s finances.
Speaking in an interview on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia Morning Show, Fiifi Boafo asserted it was the Minority that first peddled what he described as falsehoods by claiming the incumbent illegally paid $10 million to a private audit firm to probe cocoa road projects.
“In fact, I have debated some of the Minority members on this claim on radio and I told them that what they are saying is not true . . . the former president appears toeing the same line as Minority in Parliament. If they believe their allegation to be true, they should just provide the much-touted evidence. They promised to provide the public with evidence of their claim but till date they have not been able to do so,” he said.
The Senior Manager of Public Affairs at COCOBOD, however, intimated that aside government paying far less a figure than what the Minority is allegeing, the state also paid the audit company in Cedis and not in dollars.
“What I can say about this audit report on cocoa roads contracts, the money we paid was in Cedis and not in dollars and at the same time the figure is lesser than what the Minority is bandying about. If we are to make the figure public you will no doubt question why people can go to such lengths to fabricate a story like this.
“I don’t want to get to a stage where we have to respond to everything that anybody says….it is just not true that we spent $10 million on audit report on the cocoa roads,” he stressed.