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02.02.2007 General News

Gov't To Restore Aveyime Rice Project

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Government has rubbished allegations that it has for six years now, neglected the controversial Aveyime Rice Project, leading to the loss of an unspecified amount of resources to the state.

The multi-million-dollar project, which was started by the Rawlings-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, was the centre around which the jailing of some three former state officials under the NDC rule revolved.

Mr Kwame Peprah, a former Finance Minister, Mr Ibrahim Adam, a former Minister for Food and Agriculture and Mr George Yankey, a former Director of Legal Sector at the Ministry of Finance, were sentenced to various jail terms by the late Justice Affreh for jointly causing financial loss of some 20 million dollars to the state.

The rice project is on record to have turned former Quality Grains Company Ltd boss, Juliet Cotton, who is now in a US jail, into an instant millionaire, after she misappropriated 20 million dollars, paid to her in connection with the project.

Early this week, NDC flag bearer, Prof. John Evans Attah Mills, accused the Kufuor government of causing financial loss to the state by, in his view, neglecting the 22 million dollar Aveyime Rice Project.

However, Hon. Ernest Debrah, Minister for food and Agriculture, has in an interview with Ghananewstoday, dismissed the allegations, insisting that government has been working hard to revive the project, and is at the verge of signing a strategic investor to help run the project.

He also told Ghananewstoday that Messrs Integrated Rice Company Ltd, and Messrs Prairie Texas Incorporated are the two companies, whose proposals are being studied.