US based Ghanaian Journalist, Kevin Taylor has made public some documents on the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Chairman Wontumi that alleges a bloated contract with Ghana’s cocoa regulator – Cocobod.
The documents cited by Ghnewsbag alleges that an engineering company owned by Wontumi and established in 2018 – Hallmark Civil Engineering Ltd , was awarded a whopping $45 million contract by Cocobod to complete just a 20 kilometer road.
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Contents of this document alleges the road is not an asphalt road. This makes it as expensive as a $2 million dollars per kilometre. An official letter from Cocobod dated, November 20, 2020 is titled; “Rehabilitation of roads in cocoa growing areas – Construction of Dadieso-Akontombra road (KM 4.00 – 26.30) Awaso-Asawinso (Bibiani Jn) Western North)
The alleged official letter, priced the contract at US$ 45,199,526.96 for a period of 24 months. It further instructs Chairman Wontumi to as a matter of urgency sign a Performance Bond/Security for 10 percent of the contract price issued by a reputable bank within 21 days or risk losing the contract altogether.
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Should these allegations turn out true, Cocobod will have a lot of questions to answer. This is especially when Chairman Wontumi’s engineering company was established only 2 years ago – hence lacking the needed experience to embark on such a project.
It also begs the question of favoritism and over bloating of contract sales which has been a dent of the cocoa regulator – Cocobod.
So far, Ghana’s cocoa regulator, COCOBOD, has approved 1.2 billion cedis for payments to road contractors under the cocoa roads program under the NDC government.
Interestingly, current management of COCOBOD led by its Chief Executive, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has refused to release audits of road contracts under his regime citing some legal protection. According to him, Ghanaians interested in the audit must follow the application process to get it.
See Document below: