Business News of Friday, 24 February 2017
Former Minister for Food and Agriculture in the Mahama administration, Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna has cast doubts on President Akufo-Addo’s assertion that government has secured 125 million Canadian dollars to support its initiative of increasing agricultural output and reduce food prices.
He says the President sought to mislead and misinform the citizenry on the acquisition of the loan.
Alhaji Limuna argues that “there is no way a new government will resume office in six weeks” and contract a loan without the donor country doing due diligence before giving out the funds adding, he expects the Canadian High Commission to react to the President’s statement.
President Nana Akufo Addo in his maiden State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, disclosed that: “An amount of 125 million Canadian dollars has been secured from Canada a friend of our nation to support the initiative. This will be anchored on the pillars that will transform agriculture, the provision of improved seeds, supply of fertilisers and the use of e-agriculture.”
However, in an interview with Samuel Eshun on the Gold Power Drive Thursday, Alhaji Muniru Limuna revealed that: “since 2013 the government of Canada began discussions with the government of Ghana on the next budget support program which was to be designed. And we went through a number of tasks to be able to come out with this.”
“We did an assessment to determine the indicative support level of funding at the district level. We went through a process and came out with a project called Modernizing Agricultural Productivity to the Local Economy (MAPLE), which was supposed to have started in 2015 after we went through from 2013. We went through all these tasks to secure the confidence of the Canadian government.”
“In 2015 we were supposed to commence but because of change in government at the Canadian side, there was a delay. On the 25th February 2016, the first secretary development of Canadian High Commission called on me in my office to inform me that the Canadian Treasury board had approved 125 million Canadian dollars to support our budget,” he disclosed.
The former Agric Minister further expressed worry for failure on the part of the President to acknowledge the efforts of his predecessor’s government in securing the grant.