General News of Friday, 21 December 2018
Some staff of the Sunyani Municipal Assembly in the Brong Ahafo Region, are under investigation for the disappearance of several bags of subsidized fertilizers from a warehouse in Sunyani.
Additionally, the Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Sissala East was recently arrested for engaging in a similar offence, the Ministry for Food and Agriculture has said.
No further information about the suspects was provided in a statement issued Friday, December 21, by the Ministry except to say that the case is currently at the National Headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, Accra.
It followed a Myjoyonline report that some 50,000 metric tonnes of subsidized fertilizer worth $12 million meant for the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs program, had gone missing.
The statement, however, described as “factually inaccurate” earlier report suggesting that the amount of $12m dollars said to be losses, incurred as a result of smuggling of fertilizers under the flagship Planting for food and jobs programme.
“What the Minister said during the budget hearing was that over the years the country had not been able to quantify in monetary terms the actual losses being incurred as a result of fertilizers being smuggled outside Ghana to neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso and Togo.
“The Minister then went ahead to explain that under the current administration, efforts had been made to quantify the cost which amounted to about $12m dollars, which translates into about 50,000 metric tonnes,” the Ministry’s statement explained.
It concedes that about 50 trucks of fully loaded fertilizers, which were allegedly being smuggled to neighbouring Burkina Faso, were impounded in the Upper West Region in the middle of this year adding that, “efforts are being made to nip the vicious activities of these fertilizer-smuggling cartels in the bud.”
“…stringent efforts have been made to curtail the unfortunate incidents which had become the norm in previous years. Through vigilance and comprehensive monitoring, several arrests have been made and investigations are currently ongoing.”
“We, therefore, appeal to the general public to cooperate with us by reporting any act of suspicion for the necessary action to be taken,” the Ministry appealed.