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Ethiopian Anti Corruption Commission says Ministry of Agriculture entangled with practices leading to high corruption  

Ethiopia's Minister for Agriculture, Girma Amente
Ethiopia’s Minister for Agriculture, Girma Amente (Photo : PD)

By Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA – (BORKENA) – The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission disclosed that the Ministry of Agriculture and the nine institutions accountable to it “are vulnerable to corruption”.

A survey conducted by the Commission regarding the practices in the sectors, the Ministry has been confirmed to be entangled with practices that make it highly vulnerable to corruption, the Amharic Weekly, Reporter said.

A survey conducted on the risk of corruption based on the existing situation and status of the institutions, was made official on  Tuesday, November 07, 2023 in the presence of officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and the institutions accountable to it, including that of the Anti Corruption Commission.

The unplanned purchase of six million birr, the half a billion birr and the 270 thousand US dollars worth of items purchased from a single supplier show how the ministry is highly vulnerable to corruption, according to the study. At the same time, it was disclosed in the study that the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency had performed unplanned procurement of 73 million birr and a 32 million birr purchase without pro forma invoice or advanced bill for procurement, Reporter indicated.

Head of the Corruption Prevention Desk with the Commission, Tesfaye Kefele indicated in a study presented on the occasion that among the practices and sectors vulnerable to corruption are the working systems of cooperatives. Accordingly, problems witnessed in the price hike and distribution of fertilizer and failure to clear imported fertilizer timely from the port are said to be the practices that exposed the Ministry to corruption, Tesfaye said.

Tesfaye further explained with reference to the study that supply of agricultural products and export management, flower cultivation and investment land use, the practice of providing agricultural land for investment, project management and implementation, irrigation dam laws and accountability issues are prone to corruption.

According to the study presented by Tesfaye, many  purchases were made in the institutions through the process of a pro forma invoice collected from only a single company. Delay in payment, the settlement of payments without the confirmation of the progress of projects, making purchases without verifying the existence of the property to be purchased, disseminating false information to the public regarding the delay in fertilizer distribution… These all were said to be the manifestations of the threat of corruption, according to the outcome of the study.

In the initiative taken by the Anti-Corruption Commission to register properties and wealth of all government employees and officials, three of the 27 officials were not willing to be governed by the directives and have not yet allowed the Commission to register their properties

The State Minister of Agriculture, Sophia Kassa (Dr.) said on her part that though the Commission has announced about its digital method of wealth registration that is free from human contact, the Commission itself should be criticised for its negligence to follow up the dysfunctionality of the system, the Reporter said. 

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