The Minority is questioning how legal fees for the recently approved 2016-17 cocoa syndicated loan shot up to over $100, 000 describing it as misuse of funds.
Vice Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and Minority MP for Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea, who raised the issue on the floor of Parliament Thursday, June 2, also says increasing incidents of cocoa fertilizer theft must be investigated.
“If indeed we invest as much as $380 million in fertilizers only for them to be smuggled out, it is necessary to form a special committee to investigate the issue of the importation of fertilizers. How much of the fertilizers are distributed to those who really need them and how much is smuggled out?” Atta Akyea told Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho.
According to Mr Akyea, although COCOBOD quoted about $66,000 for legal fees for the $2 billion loan, the figure shot up to $169,494.67 subsequently without any stated explanation.
Mr Akyea says even if the legal fee was maintained at $66,000, it would be too high.
Parliament on Wednesday approved COCOBOD’s $2 billion syndicated loan to finance the purchase of cocoa beans for the 2016-17 crop season.
However, the debate in Parliament prior to the approval of the loan was heated as the Minority doubted COCOBOD’s ability to pay back the loan.
The Minority says misuse of funds and COCOBOD’s inability to purchase the targetted 900,000 metric tonnes of cocoa within the period would work against servicing of the loan.