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28.03.2012 General News

EDIF Boss, Two Others Sacked

By Daily Graphic
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The acting Chief Executive of the Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF), Mr Agyabeng Antwi-Agyei, and two others have been sacked.

The two others are Mr Kwabena Hemeng-Ntiamoah and Mr Joseph Attah-Quansah, Director of Audit and Director of Finance of EDIF respectively.

The three were dismissed by the Board of Directors of the fund after they had been on interdiction for various acts of gross misconduct and mismanagement of funds meant for EDIF’s national mango plantations development programme.

In a statement issued in Accra Monday, after its meeting on March 15, 2012, the board said it was waiting for the report of the Auditor General “on the quantum of funds misappropriated and evidence of personal gain to determine whether the officers are liable for criminal prosecution for their actions.”

The three officers were interdicted in October, 2011 when a review of quarterly financial reports revealed that disbursements of funds were made in the first quarter of 2011 without the requisite board approvals.

The review, according to Professor Francis Dodoo, Chairman of the Board of Directors of EDIF, also confirmed that the former acting Chief Executive, Mr Antwi-Agyei, usurped the authority of the board and wrote to inform 38 farmers on March 4, 2011, that the board of EDIF had approved a recoverable facility to support their production of mangoes for export.

The statement explained that EDIF, with the approval of the Minister of Trade & Industry, Ms Hannah Tetteh, set up a special committee, which concluded that Mr Antwi-Agyei did not adhere to laid down procedures of seeking approval of the board before the disbursement of funds.

The statement said the explanations given by the acting Chief Executive Officer were found to be unacceptable and, therefore, the committee concluded that Mr Antwi-Agyei failed “to exercise due care in the execution of the 2011 Mango Project disbursements.”

It also said new evidence had come to the attention of the board that Mr Antwi-Agyei had conducted an improper and irregular procurement of tractors for beneficiaries of the project.

The improper procurement breached procurement laws and internal procedures and exposed EDIF to significant financial loss, the statement added.

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