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Opinions Fri, 9 Oct 2009

COCOBOD and national interest – The 419 Scheme Exposed!

Surely, actions speak volumes and NDC's corruption deepens each day with news in public domain. This news item posted on Ghanaweb on September 27th should raise serious alarm with all progressive Nationalists and Nkrumaists in particular. The issue pertaining to this loan facility must be critically analysed to expose NPP and NDC as agents of racist imperialists, neo-colonialist puppets and enemies of people Ghana especially Cocoa Farmers and their Cooperatives.

1. Under NPP era(2000-2008), it became fashionable for COCOBOD to take loans from foreign banks to purchase locally produced cocoa to sell on international market for profit. Loans contracted from France's financial markets in past three consecutive years ranged from $600M, $800M and $1billion. In 2007 COCOBOD contracted $800M from same French financiers; some of the $millions went to ghost Cocoa farmers, bogus Produce buying Agencies (did not exist or declared bankrupt) tied to COCOBOD executives and wide open field spraying against infestation. Now fellows, $800M is a lot of money and the fact that $100Ms vanished into thin air and COCOBOD was not held accountable beats common sense and gave credibility to NPP as a KLEPTOCRACY.

In the same year, Cargill (US giant Grain and Pet Food Company) built a state of art Cocoa Processing Plant in Ghana for $70M to add value to locally produced cocoa, create jobs and make Ghana Cocoa related products competitive in Regional and global markets.

Other midsize factories cost $35-$45M to build to meet rural Ghana economic development. $800M could build at least 11 Cocoa processing plants strategically located in Cocoa producing regions; COCOBOD did not spend a "pesewa" in a plant to diversify service offering to Cocoa Farmers and Cooperatives in order to maximize income for farmers plus farm labores etc. Instead, COCOBOD executives were awashed with CASH and lived on the hog (fat bonuses and luxurious fringe benefits) exploiting local farmers. COCOBOD donated a few computers to schools here (in the North) and there plus its standard scholarship to wards of Cocoa farmers to divert attention to its filthy exploitation of farmers and fleecing national coffers. COCOBOD became an agent of French Capitalists in expropriating labor of Cacoa farmers and farm laborers. COCOBOD became "knee deep" COMPRADOR bourgeoisie and given comfort by NPP kleptocracy. NDC is now acting as a criminal assessory in "419" scheme against the State and peoples of Ghana.

2. $1.2 Billion for what?; this is the $million question nationalists and conscientious Ghanaians must ask themselves and NDC government in the name of NATIONAL INTEREST. How many tons of cocoa(including smuggled cocoa from Cote D'ivoire war zone) did COCOBOD buy in past years and relative cash value returns to COCOBOD and national treasury with loan $millions? For it is the same 419 fraudulent play book repeated over and over again with government officials like the Attorney General, Finance Minister and Governor of Bank of Ghana not giving a damn. Ghana's parliament is even silent on subject of THIEVRY by COCOBOD officials; thus making matters WORSE as irresponsible parliament.

3. WHAT IS ROLE OF GHANA STOCK EXCHANGE (GSE) ? Why was the GSE set up and why has COCOBOD refused to raise operational capital from domestic local markets? By by-passing domestic money markets for external financing, COCOBOD is denying Ghanaians the ability to build wealth and capacity of being economically empowered. COCOBOD is consciously enriching foreign capitalists and impoverishing Ghanaians and African Diaspora investors in Ghana's economy. This is conscious CLASS EXPLOITATION. What corporate entity seeks foreign massive loans annually to just purchase cocoa to re-sell and ends up BROKE and has to turn around and borrow another $billions and ends up BROKE again in a vicious cycle? Where are the proceeds from sale of cocoa and where is the share for the Ghana Government general treasury? Who is holding COCOBOD accountable in Ghana for this 419 neo-colonialist money games? Why is COCOBOD exploiting Ghanaians? Where is the Bank of Ghana that previously handled "COCOA BILLS" for COCOBOD in past? Why has the Bank of Ghana abandoned its role to defend the fiscal aspect of NATIONAL INTEREST in age of globalism?

4. REAL ISSUES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY expose COCOBOD as a conduit for neo-colonialists to dominate Ghana's cocoa producing industry. COCOBOD is aided by French Financial Capitalists to amass financial capital in Ghana to empower ruling petty-bourgeois class to consolidate class positions and oppressive class rule. COCOBOD has become a vehicle for deepening class contradictions in Ghana, HAVES and HAVE-NOTS; Ebi-te-yie and Ebi-nte-yiefo/mmobrowa. COCOBOD flushed both NPP and NDC parties with cash flow to dominate domestic politics; elements in both party profited from this new pattern COCOBOD 419 scheme. This is a CORRUPTION MACHINE!! The web of banks, both local and foreign, in this 419 scheme role play confirms the true nature of monopoly finance capital in the exploitation of a developing nation like Ghana. These are the same institutions that facilitated thievery of $billions by African corrupt dictators and kleptocrats.

5. COCOBOD AND NATIONAL INTEREST; how much interest has COCOBOD paid to French financiers and other foreign financial capital sources in past 5years? Is the acquisition of huge foreign loans the best and only option for COCOBOD? Why has COCOBOD become a conduit to siphon wealth for Ghana and deepen neo-colonialist grip on a pillar of Ghana's economic foundation? Why is COCOBOD engaging in national sabotage? Majority of us are aware or were old enough in 1964/5 to remember the deliberate squeeze to sabotage Nkrumah's 7 year Development Plan by same financiers and global cocoa market forces to depress prices too low such that Ghana burned tons of cocoa and instituted Tema Silos to salvage depressing prices. When it comes to exploiting Ghana for massive profits, foreign capital is readily available. This is partnership COCOBOD has built to betray Ghana's national interest and its cocoa farmers. Ghana's NDC and NPP comprador bourgeoisie are enemies of the masses and agents of neo-colonialism.

6. WHAT MUST BE DONE: True nationalists must expose domestic forces that compromise Ghana's political independence via neo-colonialism by organizing the farmers and move them to positive action to smash imperialist stooges and neo-colonialist puppets.

God Bless Our Homeland Ghana and save us from the economic strangulation of neo-colonialists puppets and their imperialist masters!!

Columnist: Young Nkrumaist Movement