Pressure group United Voices for Change (U. V. C.) has called on the President of the republic, Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo – Addo to as a matter of agency sack the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana COCOBOD, Dr Joseph Boahen Aidoo over what the group describes as “rot, super incompetence and thievery at the top management of the country’s cocoa sector.
The movement made the call in a two-page statement signed and issued by its Convenor for immediate media attention and publications on the subject.
According to the movement, current developments in the country’s cocoa sector demand serious attention from the presidency and the government, adding that some heads must roll starting with the CEO of the sector.
The call comes following a letter cited by the group that suggests that the Ghana COCOBOD under the current government and sector leadership is importing cocoa beans from Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria into the country.
The leadership of the U. V. C and other concerned CSOs wonder why GHANA, once the leading producer of Cocoa in the world and now second only to its West African neighbor Cote D’voire is importing cocoa beans from Cote D’voire and most surprisingly from Nigeria.
The group argues that this development cannot be justified unless it is attributed to gross mismanagement, misapplication of funds, thievery and creation, loot, and share within Ghana’s cocoa sectors under the incompetent leadership of Dr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo and endorsed by corrupt leadership.
The leadership of UVC regrets that the current malfeasance and unfortunate happenings have brought the image of the country as not so long ago the leading producer of cocoa to its lowest level and gradually sinking the country’s once revered pride as a prestigious leading premium Cocoa exporter on a global scale.
The statement pointed out that the Ghana COCOBOD has been wasteful since 2018 citing the SIGA report of 2020 under the leadership of Dr. Aidoo.
U. V. C. revealed that COCOBOD alone accumulated a total debt of GH 786, 928,800 in just three years under the watch of the Akuffo Addo – Bawumia lead government as if it’s nobody’s business.
The group attributes the country’s current economic woes to the mismanagement and thievery within most of the country’s state-owned Enterprises (SOEs) being managed by corrupt and incompetent appointees just like what is happening to the country’s cocoa sector.
It further noted that between 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 cocoa seasons, Ghana’s cocoa production dropped by 711,000 metric tones.
The United Voices for Change is therefore not surprised that mismanagers of Ghana’s cocoa sector are engaging in such an underbridge deal of trying to import cocoa beans from Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire to cover up their nakedness.
The UVC opined that this overnight fall from a leading producer of premium quality Cocoa to a sudden importer of the produce must be condemned in all uncertain terms and also the country must demand an explanation from the CEO and his cohorts on how we got here.
The group is also demanding answers as to what the government, the Ministry of Agriculture, and relevant sector stakeholders have been doing in the years under contention. Who is in charge of the Ghana COCOBOD accounts, who oversees the daily transactions, and where did those monies go, as well as the true state of the country’s cocoa cover?
The pressure group at this juncture is reminding the president and his government that Article 4 of the very Act that governs the management of State-owned Enterprises, states that “state-owned enterprises shall be operated in a manner benefiting a business so that they may be able to support themselves, achieve continuous development, and increase the national income without INCURRING LOSSES”.
They are on this note, notifying the president and his team that the wastage and open thievery is enough grounds for the removal of the various CEOs starting with Dr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo.
“The citizen’s freedom may be restricted by law on the grounds stated in the 1992 constitution but they cannot be denied. Any such denial will be unconstitutional” and clearly, the continuous stay of Dr. Joseph Aidoo is an infringement on the rights of Ghanaians and an upfront to the very laws that established and guides his operations as the CEO as per Article 4 of the Act that Governs the Management of State-owned Enterprises, that “state-owned enterprises shall be operated in a manner benefiting a business so that they may be able to support themselves, achieve continuous development, and increase the national income without INCURRING LOSSES”, on this note, the wastage, and clear thievery is enough grounds for the removal of the various CEOs starting from Dr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo”, part of the statement reads.
UNITED VOICES FOR CHANGE wants to remind the president that just as he rightfully stated in his inaugural speech some seven years ago, decerning Ghanaians will always be citizens and not spectators.
They entreated the President and his next in command to treat this as a duty call and act accordingly, adding that the group would come out with its next line of actions if the president and his government failed to do the needful.