Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Coastal Development Authority (CODA), Jerry Ahmed Shaib has called for the prosecution of persons who resell subsidised outboard motors at exorbitant prices.
He stated that their acts are illegal as the boards are intended to be given to fishermen at cheaper prices.
Mr Ahmed Shaib stated that the initiative by the government to fund these motors is to help the businesses of fishermen hence such illegalities must be shunned and the culprits dealt with.
His stance came as a reaction to an investigative piece which exposes the Mfantsiman Constituency Second Vice-chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), David Awotwe, to be involved in such a venture.
“Outboard motors are meant to alleviate poverty. The President is very much aware that currently the fishers are not doing very well with fishing because of several issues around the fishing zone so he is trying to intervene to help them,” he said.
In his view,“If the intervention is the basis on which someone is going to make money illegally, that person must be arrested and prosecuted that is all. Be it the Regional Chairman, Constituency Chairman in CPP, NDC, NPP or whoever”.
Speaking on Joy FM’S Super Morning Show, he disbanded claims that political sympathisers are making profits off the sale of outboard motors in various coastal areas, adding that non-party members also have access to the low-cost motors.
He said the government was procuring and subsidising 5000 outboard motors for the fishermen, out of which CODA had taken delivery of 1,300 and 622 outboard motors and are expecting another 2000 in the next consignment.
He said 5,400 fishermen had applied in total.
The CODA CEO stated that this case of the Second Vice-chairman was the first of its kind has heard of. He expressed outrage at the development
The 40-horsepower Yamaha outboard motor costs close to ¢20,000 on the market but government gave the outboard motors to the fishermen at a subsidised price of ¢10,000.
However, there are widespread reports that executives of the governing NPP have hijacked the outboard motors and now sell them above the reduced price.
The municipal chief executive of Mfantsiman, Keneth Kelly Essuman, said he knew Mr Awotwe was not a fisherman but was allocated the subsidised outboard motor when he registered with details of his late uncle’s fishing gears.
He admitted on the Super Morning Show that it was possible that people who were not fishermen would get the outboard motors.
When presented with the details, the Central Regional Minister, Kwamena Duncan, said it was unacceptable and asked the MCE to get the police to arrest Mr Awotwe.