COCOBOD fails To Account For $1.3 billion Loan – Akandoh

Kwabena Mintah Akandoh

Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, the Member of Parliament for Juaboso, has accused the government and the COCOBOD of failing to account for the $1.3 billion loan.

When questioned where the monies were, he stated no substantive answer had been supplied, he said.

Approximately 900,000 tonnes of cocoa beans were planned to be purchased with the loan during the upcoming cocoa season.

Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo, COCOBOD’s Chief Executive Officer, signed on behalf of the board, and a representative of the member banks did same.

Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, then-Chairman of COCOBOD’s Board of Directors; Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, then-Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Finance; and several COCOBOD management members observed the signing.

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Despite the $1.3 billion syndicated loan, Mr Akandoh claimed on Thursday, March 10, 2022, that the cocoa industry is having financial problems.

He said, “My constituency is the highest production of cocoa in the whole country. Juaboso constituency is predominantly cocoa farmers but unfortunately, the cocoa sector is dying.

“If you look at what is happening in the cocoa sector, for now in the 2020-2021 crop year, we targeted about 800,000 metric tonnes and now we are somewhere around 400,000 metric.

“The disheartening aspect is that they came to parliament to seek the approval for the syndicated loan around 1.3 billion dollars and we approved the money. We were targeting 800 metric tonnes, now we are somewhere around 400 yet we don’t have money to buy cocoa.

“We have asked several times where the money is, and we are not being given any tangible explanation. If you go to my constituency for example, as I speak to you, the farmers may have the cocoa beans but they may not have access to money.

“This is the reality because COCOBOD is owing a lot of the cocoa buying companies. So there are a lot of challenges in the cocoa sector as I speak to you now.”