COCOBOD broke and likely to be sold – Eric Opoku

The Minority Spokesperson on Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, Mr Eric Opoku, has cautioned the government to act swiftly to save the Ghana Cocoa Board from collapsing.

Mr Opoku who is also the member of Parliament for Asunafo Soouth in the Ahafo Region said COCOBOD has been poorly managed and incurred a lot of losses that is threatening the imminent shut down of the company.

In an interview on the Gumbe Show on TV XYZ, the Legislator said the COCOBOD has been unable to find solutions to current challenges confronting the institution, urging that the CEO, Joseph Boahen Aidoo be sacked.

He said the COCOBOD owes Ghanaian banks to the tune of GHS 8.1 billion through bonds to be able to purchase cocoa but added that the funds were mismanaged.

“By next year, if the government is unable to get some funds to pay the debts owed by COCOBOD, I won’t be surprised that some of the banks will sue the company and its assets will be ordered to be sold,” he told host Oheneba Boamah.

Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of the COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo has told Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee that the company is struggling due to the impact of cocoa smuggling and illegal mining.

He said the company lost over 150,000 metric tonnes of cocoa beans to smuggling in 2023. According to the COCOBOD CEO, cocoa production has also declined due to the activities of illegal miners (galamsey) and disease attacks.

Minority Wants CEO Sacked

However, a minority member of the Public Accounts Committee, Ibrahim Murtala Muhammed, Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, says he does not believe the explanations of the COCOBOD CEO.

“As the country that produced the highest quality of cocoa, even at a point in time we were producing more cocoa than the Ivory Coast. And it got to a stage that Ivory Coast overtook us, this is what happens, it’s always like a twin relationship, sometimes we overtake them, sometimes they overtake us. One thing that they have never overtaken us is the quality of the cocoa that we produce. Why is it that we are no longer producing the highest quality of cocoa?”

When told that officialdom attribute the decline in fortunes to galamsey, Murtala disagreed.

“What galamsey? The issue of galamsey didn’t start today, and I remember as a member of COCOBOD, issues came up and that was the reason why, frontally, under the leadership of Dr. Opuni and President Mahama it was fought frontally. I will not say we didn’t have galamsey, but the level of havoc that galamsey was causing to our cocoa is not as it is today.



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