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General News Wed, 20 Feb 2008

Aidoo goofed over missing cocoa - Pianim

A former Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Mr Kwame Pianim, has denied allegations that a ship full of cocoa got missing during the reign of Dr K. A. Busia.

He said the issue had to do with overshipment of cocoa and not the case of a shipful getting missing.

Mr Pianim was responding to allegations by Dr Tony Aidoo that a ship full of cocoa got missing under Dr. Busia's regime.

Speaking on Joy FM's Super Morning Show, Dr Aidoo claimed national resources were plundered anytime the Danquah-Busia tradition was in power, citing the missing of a ship full of cocoa under Busia.

But Mr Pianim who was also the former Chairman of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) said the incident which did not involve a ship full of cocoa, also did not happen under Dr Busia.

He stressed that the overshipment of the product rather happened in 1978 under General Acheampong.

Explaining the issues, Mr Pianim said that a company, General Superintendent which was mandated to supervise the shipment and safe arrival of cocoa, apparently failed to do its job.

He added that when his attention was drawn to the allegations of overshipment of cocoa, he (Pianim) threatened to take General Superintendednt to court but the company denied the allegations.

The former CEO of COCOBOD said a Dutch company however, approached the COCOBOD asking for payment for the excess cocoa that was shipped.

That he stressed, confirmed the allegations but efforts to uncover the actual quantity of the excess cocoa did not yield results because the Country Director of General Superintendent then, Mrs Shirley Ababio who also worked for the PNDC, intervened.

Dr Tony Aidoo was grateful to Mr Pianim for the explanation, saying the false information had been in the public domain for a long time.

Nana Fredua Agyeman Ofori-Atta, a communications expert, contributing to the discussion, said it was unfortunate Dr Aidoo did not have the facts and yet sought to mislead the public.

He accused Dr Aidoo and the NDC of adopting the tactics of lying and deliberate deception in their bid to win elections in the country.

Source: jfm