Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni
A contract worth GH¢255 million awarded by the John Dramani Mahama administration for the supply of farm inputs to cocoa farmers has been cancelled by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo upon the advice of the newly inaugurated Board of Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod).
The name of the contractor is immediately not known. However, the company was contracted to supply pesticides, weedicides, fungicides, insecticides and fertilizers to Cocobod under Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni for onward distribution to cocoa farmers throughout the country.
Dr Opuni, who was earning a salary of about GH¢75,000 as Chief Executive of Cocobod, is currently under investigation for allegedly mismanaging Cocobod.
The company which won the contract was expected to have supplied samples of the products to the Cocoa Research Institute for testing and also to raise the needed certificate for the said goods for approval.
But these agreements were not honoured, necessitating the abrogation of the said contract by the government.
New Board Chairman of Cocobod, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, who had earlier made the revelation on Kasapa FM, on Tuesday, in a follow-up interview with DAILY GUIDE yesterday, indicated that six companies were involved in the supply of the chemicals, but strangely they all belong to one person, necessitating the abrogation.
He further said that the new Board would ensure that all the things that went wrong under Opuni are investigated and corrected.
This, he noted, falls in line with the President Akufo-Addo’s commitment to revive the ailing cocoa sector.
The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) is already questioning Opuni, Seidu Agongo as well as Ali Seidu and Kofi Job regarding the contracts awarded them during the regime of the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The Cocobod contracts of roads and supply of fertilizers were sole-sourced and in a manner thought to have breached value for money principle, with a larger chunk of the contracts going to the above-named individuals.