Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Ranking Member of Parliament (MP) of the Committee on Food and Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, has asked the government to account for the discrepancy in the purchase of cocoa between October 2014 and last May.
He said the Minority was dissatisfied with the answer by Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, Deputy Minister of Finance, that data from the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) showed that 614,262 tonnes of cocoa were purchased for the period against the approved 950,000 metric tonnes.
“The House approved a syndicated loan of $1.8 billion for the purchase of 950,000 tonnes, and the Deputy Minister is telling us the COCOBOD bought 614, 262 tonnes. Where is the money for the difference? Dr Akoto asked in a post sitting interview with journalists.
The House last year approved $1.8 billion for the purchase of cocoa, for which the COCOBOD through the Ministry of Finance took $1.7billion.
Journalists had wanted to know from the Ranking Member, who is also the MP for Kwadaso, why he had complained that the answer to the question which he asked on the floor of the House had attracted just a single sentence answer.
He said:” My question was very important, but innocuous. I intended to use the three supplementary questions to ask for follow up. I’m asking the question on behalf of the larger majority of cocoa farmers and Ghanaians.”
Dr Akoto was of the view that the shortfall was a calculated attempt by the Government “to deceive the people of the people of this country.”
“We in the Minority, will pursue the matter to its logical conclusion, “ Dr Akoto added.