A social entrepreneur who is heavily involved in Ghana’s agricultural industry and who has unjustly suffered at the hands of the organizations and individuals running the country’s agricultural value chain has made the decision to put the problems into proper perspective in order to spur government action.
According to him, local banks and lawyers conspire frequently and cunningly to drain the country’s agricultural industry, which is why the sector performs poorly overall.
Issa Ouedraogo, the founder of B-BOVID, claims that until the Government of Ghana recognizes these abnormalities silently creating an avoidable lacuna along the value chain of the Agricultural sector, and stems the tide, nothing significant would be achieved while the pockets of individuals fronting for fake foreign investors as lawyers and banks would continue to get full. Ouedraogo has endured hell at the hands of the aforementioned for the past 17 years.
He emphasized that these careless local banks will continue to mask the true nature of the fiscal policy regime and, beneath the surface of their operations, collaborate with fictitious foreign investors to defraud the nation in various ways.
Addressing participants at Ghana social enterprise forum organized on Friday at the British Council under the theme: ‘Partnerships for sustainable development: social enterprises as catalysts for inclusive growth in Ghana,’ an angry Issa Ouedraogo, who has had terrible experience and practical issues with all the aforementioned in the last 17 years, while dealing with them, pointed out that foreign direct investment into Ghana’s Agricultural sector appears good in the books, but lacks clarity, conformity, and integrity.
He cited his personal engagement with one French organization which came into the country as social impact investors and cunningly took over his company he personally struggled to birth in the last two decades with his sweat and toil without the support of any government institution.
He said government must consider investigating the modus operandi of some of these firms to ascertain if indeed these companies are decent enough and do not hold Ghana sway in its underhand dealings with local and foreign partners.
He again cited two banks, one for fraudulently engaging in unprofessional conduct to assist investors to cheat, and milk the Agricultural sector dry. He said they denied him and others value for interest free facility acquired.
In the case of one of the banks, he claimed he bargained with a bank in Sudan for an interest-free facility that had to go through them, but ultimately the loan was handed to him by the bank at a cutthroat interest rate on the backs of central government.
He argued that some of these issues must be seriously investigated by the government and that this problem cannot be ignored.
He claimed that the aforementioned bank made up a terrible tale about him, fully defamed him in front of several officials in this nation, and also disseminated fake information about his company both domestically and abroad.
For another bank, he claimed the Bank unprofessionally got misguided to engage in illegal tampering of accounts, approval of transactions at his blind side with an account he jointly owned with another company.
In his quest to promote peri-urban farming, the social enterprise entrepreneur, initiated in 2012 the Ghana Peri-urban Vegetables Value Chain Project (GPVVCP), which is a subsidiary project under GCAP being funded by a grant of US$2.85 million from the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) through a Trust Fund Arrangement with the World Bank.
Unfortunately, his company was eliminated at the implementation stage in 2017 with an excuse that the company never showed interest. The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
When he attempted to fight for justice in the courts by exposing the double standard of a business that claimed to engage in social entrepreneurship and ended up partnering with his company, B-BOVID, he claimed that Ghanaian lawyers were working undercover to monetize justice. When the said company was defended, it was clear that this was sending the wrong message to the public that the justice system in the country was for the highest bidder and that thieves could get away with anything.
He emphasized that all of these unfavorable trends would continue to work against the agricultural industry and ultimately the country’s economy.
It would further move mountains to exacerbate the country’s increasing unemployment phenomenon, which continually reverberates loudly in the ears of businesspeople, politicians, and government officials.
Therefore, he issued a warning to all parties involved in the agricultural industry to exercise vigilance when indulging rants, acting selfishly or excessively greedy, or carelessly endorsing phony investors who might be secretly working with desperate lawyers to drain the agricultural sector dry.
To prevent the nation from further degrading under the pretext of foreign direct investment, he suggested the central government to create a chance for all the aforementioned issues to be investigated.