Parliament to summon Agric Minister over ¢1m residential renovation
The Minority in Parliament want the Agric Minister before the House to explain reports that ¢1 million of COCOBOD funds are being used to renovate his residence.
Its spokesperson on Finance, Cassel Ato Forson, told Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gapko the spokesperson on Agric, Eric Opoku “has indicated that he is going to ask the Minister responsible for Food and Agriculture to come to Parliament to answer questions.”
At a press briefing at Goaso in the Brong Ahafo region on Wednesday, Mr Opoku claimed COCOBOD is using money meant for farmers to provide comfort for the Agric Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto.
“Even as we hear the lamentations by COCOBOD over lack of funds as a result of declining world market prices, the same COCOBOD has been able to raise over ¢1 million for the renovation of the residence of the Minister of Food and Agriculture.
“Is the Minister’s comfort a priority over the welfare of our farmers,” the Asunafo South MP queried.
The claim has been denied by the Agric Ministry, but Mr Forson says COCOBOD officials admitted the claim at a sitting of Parliament’s Agric Committee.
“In one of the Committee meetings, they conceded…they said they were doing the renovation for the Minister’s official residence.”
The Ejumako-Enyan-Essiam MP said, Parliament is aware of an initial request for ¢300,000 to be used to renovate the minister’s residence but has not been told about the new price.
According to him, parts of the building have been demolished and that so far, “they have spent ¢1million.”
“They have not given Parliament official documents on it,” Mr Forson added.
Already, the Minority has described government as insensitive towards the plight of cocoa farmers after the Agric Minister announced there will be no increase in the producer price of cocoa for the 2018/2019 season.
Dr. Akoto Owusu Afriyie said government will maintain the price of each bag of cocoa at ¢475.