President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged the new Board of Directors and Management of COCOBOD to put behind the era of systemic mismanagement, gross financial malfeasance and flagrant misappropriation.
COCOBOD was accused of not paying dividends since the 2003/2004 financial year and that in 2010 alone it made a profit of ?158.6 million; but the response of officials of the board was that it (COCOBOD) had been using the money to construct ‘cocoa roads’ in the country.
Additional amount of 17.8 million was said to have been loaned by COCOBOD to the Cocoa Marketing Company in 2010, but there were no documents to prove that.
But speaking on the Occasion of World Cocoa Day and Celebration of The 70th Anniversary of Ghana Cocoa Board in Kumasi, president Akufo-Addo stated that Ghanaians demand accountability and the judicious use of COCOBOD funds not the flagrant misappropriation of funds that allegedly characterised the running of COCOBOD in the recent past.
President Akufo-Addo reiterated the commitment of Government towards the improvement of the welfare of cocoa farmers.
”The Minister for Food and Agriculture, and COCOBOD, will ensure that, in spite of the over 40% drop in world cocoa prices, their price review for the coming season will not leave farmers short-changed,” he added.
Government, he said will make sure that producer prices paid to Ghanaian cocoa farmers remain unchanged, and will be in sync with those of Ivorian farmers.
”Government is also working on the cocoa pension scheme for cocoa farmers, the first of its kind in our history. This will not only benefit cocoa farmers, but all involved in the cocoa value chain,” he said.