The Ministry of Meals and Agriculture (MoFA) has been given a month ultimatum to disburse compensation totaling GH¢1.4 million to farmers, who had their poultry birds destroyed as a result of outbreak of Extremely Pathogenic Avian Influenza illness, between 2015 and 2018.
Out of the 41 farmers, solely 16 have been paid compensation thus far, though the cash had been launched to the MoFA for onward fee to beneficiaries, since 2022.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament issued the ultimatum in Accra yesterday, when officers of the MoFA appeared earlier than the committee, to supply responses to audit infractions captured within the 2022 Auditor Common’s report.
The report discovered that following the discharge of GH¢1,999,768.10 by the Ministry of Finance for the fee of compensation to farmers affected by the outbreak of illness from 2015 to 2018, solely GH¢191,730.00 was paid to 10 farmers, leaving GH¢1,808,038.10 unaccounted for.
In response, Abdul Rashid Tahiru, Monetary Controller, MoFA, famous that following the audit, a further GH¢345,000 had been paid to some affected farmers, who introduced the birds’ destruction certificates.
He defined that the farmers, who have been but to obtain compensation, didn’t submit the related documentation, together with the destruction certificates and private financial institution particulars for onward processing for fee.
Mr Tahiru mentioned the discharge from the Ministry of Finance coated birds destroyed from 2015 to 2018 and 2021 as a result of outbreak of the illness.
He added that “presently, we’ve paid compensation to all of the farmers who had their birds destroyed in 2021. These but to be paid have been affected in 2015 to 2018 and we expect them to submit the required documentation to MoFA for onward fee.”
Queried on whether or not the farmers have been conscious of the discharge of the cash, Mr Tahiru, mentioned all regional veterinary officers have been directed to tell the farmers of the supply of the compensation for them to contact the MoFA for fee.
Deputy Minister of MoFA, Yaw Frimpong Addo, mentioned though the ministry took stock of all of the farmers, the presentation of the doc was a requirement earlier than fee might be effected.
He gave the peace of mind that the MoFA was ready to switch the compensation (cash) to the affected farmers.
Not happy by the responses, Chairman of PAC, Dr James Klutse Avedzi, directed that the MoFA full the fee of compensation inside a month to the farmers who have been going by way of varied challenges.
He requested MoFA to accentuate efforts and pay affected farmers their compensation, to keep away from the impression that authorities was not doing something after destroying the birds.
“We’re supplying you with one month to finish the disbursements to those affected farmers. The cash is idling within the ministry’s account with the worth taking place whereas on the similar time, our farmers undergo,” Dr Avedzi acknowledged.
Member of Parliament (MP) of Bole Bamboi, and member of the committee, Mr Yusif Sulemana, mentioned delays within the fee of compensation to the farmers was a contributing consider some poultry farms being out of enterprise.
He subsequently, tasked the MoFA to determine the affected farmers and assist tackle their challenges.
Mr Kofi Adams, MP for Buem, and member of the committee, cautioned Ministries, Departments and Businesses (MDAs) towards misuse of funds, saying that the misapplication of funds and lackadaisical perspective by officers in utilizing state funds was detrimental to the realisation of challenge targets.