CSIR Hot Over $4.2m Cash
For the 2011 audited accounts of the WAAP, out of the $8,382,191 total expenditure, $4.2 million was used for an ‘unspecified’ expenditure classified as ‘other expenditure’ by the CSIR.
The accountant at the CSIR, Timothy Mensah Kwao was asked by the committee members to tell the committee what went into the ‘other expenditure’ but the accountant said he needed two weeks to prepare the list for them.
The chairman of the committee, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu however disagreed with the accountant and said providing a detailed schedule should not take two weeks to prepare because the vouchers and receipts covering the ‘other expenditure’ should be available in the office.
He therefore gave the accountant a week’s ultimatum to prepare a detailed schedule on the expenses made on the $4.2 million classified as ‘other expenditure’ and give it to the committee for further probing.
The chairman of the committee wondered why an agricultural programme should involve the CSIR but the national coordinator of the programme, Mrs Azara Ali Mamshie explained that the new varieties of tuber crops for higher yields being introduced are mainly research-based and therefore their association with the CSIR.
She explained that research had to be carried out on the new breed of tuber crops comprising cassava, yam, cocoyam and sweet potato, which will help farmers produce higher yields when they are adopted.
According to her, the first phase of the programme which was mainly research into the productivity of the new varieties had ended and the second phase, which is dissemination and adaption, would commence by next year during which the ‘tested’ varieties would be distributed to farmers for cultivation.
The deputy director-general of CSIR, Dr Mamaa Entsua-Mensah told the committee that the Soil Research Institute, Crop Research Institute and the Food Research Institute were involved in the various stages of the research work to determine the adaptability of the new varieties.
The deputy director of the Cashew Development Project, under the Directorate of Crop Services, Madam Eleanor Swatson, was also queried on a $3.7 million expenditure on consultancy services out of the $13.3million provided for the project.
She explained that the consultancies services were many and varied.
She said apart from the main consultancy services on agronomy, they paid money for audit consultancy services and other consultancy services.
The project coordinator for the Export Marketing and Quality Awareness Programme, Mawuli Agboka, for his part, told the committee that out of the total amount given for the project, 40 percent was used to construct feeder roads in the selected regions.
The committee members asked him to provide the lists of all feeder roads constructed under the project for the pursuance of the committee before any recommendation could be given.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr
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