General News Sat, 4 Nov 2017
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Mr. Joseph Boahen Aidoo insists that his predecessor Dr. Stephen Opuni emptied the accounts of COCOBOD and also left behind a debt of GH¢19.6billion before exiting office.“When you total the debts Dr. Opuni left behind it amounts to GH¢19.6billion. The total debt for cocoa road project alone is GH¢3.5billioon,” he claimed.
Mr Boahen Aidoo, who described the current state of COCOBOD as debt distressed said the new management had to go to the Bank of Ghana to seek financial bailout before they could settle some of the huge debts left behind and even take care of other expenses of the cocoa management body.
Speaking on Oman FM’s political analysis program “Boiling Point” Thursday night, Mr. Boahen Addo, said “we all know that COCOBOD secured a loan of $1.8billion for 2016/2017 Cocoa season spanning from October 2016 to September 2017.”
He said by October 2016, COCOBOD had utilized $1.4billion to settle of part of its debts and other expenses leaving the remaining $400 sitting in the accounts.
Surprisingly, Mr Boahen Aidoo said, the former CEO of COCOBOD Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni withdrew the remaining $400million on December 2016, after his party lost power.
“I can’t really tell what happened to Dr. Opuni and his team to warrant their action. On the 20th December, 2016, that is few days to the Christmas Dr. Opuni withdrew the remaining $400million from the account. So we came to meet an empty account,” he said.
Mr Boahen Aidoo, who expressed disgust at the NDC Minority in Parliament for being economical with the truth at their recent press conference, indicated that there were no traces of how the $400million was spent.
He hinted that investigations are ongoing into all the corrupt activities which occurred at the COCOBOD during the previous administration adding that after the investigations all the culprits will be put before the courts.