Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Joseph Boahen Aidoo has insisted the Akufo-Addo-led administration never canceled cocoa road projects initiated by the erstwhile Mahama administration.
He indicated that the Mahama administration awarded majority of the contracts under the Cocoa Road projects without any money for their execution.
“For example, the Prestea to Samreboi road was awarded on contract by the former administration. But there was no funding for it. How can you award a contract and expect it to be executed without a corresponding fund?” he quizzed.
Speaking at a durbar at Prestea Nkwanta in the Amenfi West District of the Western Region, Mr. Boahen Aidoo stated that “when we came to power, we realized they had awarded road contracts about two to three months to the 2016 elections and wanted COCOBOD to execute them”.
“There was no money for their execution. The few that they were able to do, contractors had worked but they had not been paid. For example, the bridge that Asabea Construction did here, Nana we came to pay.
“Nana, we came to meet a debt of GH¢819 million that the former Mahama sdministration had left to be paid contractors,” he revealed
But he assured that roads under the Cocoa Roads project will be executed for residents along those roads and, in particular, for cocoa farmers to be able to transport their produce with ease because the needed funds have been secured.
“The Prestea to Samreboi road will be tarred. I’ve told the contractor Asabea to hasten the pace of work. This is not because we are approaching elections. We have also secured the needed funds so money is not a problem. We have also awarded the Nyinase road on contract and the contractor is ready move to site.”
Former President John Dramani Mahama on a recent tour of the Western North Region challenged the NPP government to release the report on the Cocoa Road project his government initiated.
In a response, Mr. Boahen Aidoo maintained his outfit has nothing to hide and is so ready to give the report to anyone who wants a copy.
“The report is 260 pages. So I sometimes ask where it will be published whether in the Daily Graphic or [Ghanaian] Times. It cannot be published. But anyone who wants a copy, it is at our office,” he had said.
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana