THE ACTING Chief Executive of the Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF), Agyabeng Antwi-Agyei, and two others have been sacked.
His dismissal follows months of interdiction for various acts of gross misconduct and mismanagement of funds meant for EDIF’s National Mango Plantations Development Programme.
The two others sacked by the EDIF Board at a meeting on March 15, 2012 are Director of Audit, Kwabena Hemeng- Ntiamoah and Director of Finance Joseph Attah-Quansah.
The EDIF Board, in a statement released on Tuesday, said it is 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 disbursements made in the first quarter of 2011 without the requisite Board approvals.
The review, according to Professor Francis Dodoo, Chairman of the Board, also confirmed that the former Acting Chief Executive, Mr. Antwi-Agyei usurped the authority of the Board and wrote informing thirty-eight (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 for Trade & Industry, Hanna Tetteh, set up a Special Committee, which concluded that Mr. Antwi-Agyei did not adhere to laid down procedures of seeking Board approvals for disbursement.The statement further revealed that 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.
It appears that these fresh revelations of gross misconduct precipitated the dismissal of Mr. Antwi- Agyei. The other two officers were similarly dismissed for their roles in the irregular procurement of tractors.
A Bureau of National Investigations report has also implicated the affected officers in some procurement malpractices.
The good corporate governance practices now at play at EDIF have already consumed a board member, Nana Yeboa Kodie Asare II, who has since resigned. He was cited in a Conflict of Interest situation, when he chaired a meeting that approved funds for a number of companies including one that he had personal interest in but failed to declare that interest. Subsequently, it was found out that the farm did not qualify for the facility.
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