Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is heavily indebted to the tune of GH¢ 10 billion, according to its Chief Executive Officer Joseph Boahen Aidoo.
The debt, he said was as a result of mismanagement by the previous management headed by Dr. Stephen Opuni and that it is hugely affecting smooth running of the place.
Speaking Wednesday on Accra FM, Mr. Aidoo who was a former MP for Amenfi East noted that the past management had bequeathed to the new one some challenges “but the major one is the GHS10 billion debt.”
He, however, assured that efforts are being made to settle “this debt and by the end of September we will ensure that all these debts have been paid.”
Nonetheless, he posited that due to the debt they cannot even pay bonuses to their workers because they are settling debts and they have also cancelled end-of-year anniversaries.
“Because we don’t have money to finance such events. We need to focus on paying this debt,” he stated.
Also, observed Mr. Aidoo the other problem they inherited was the fall in the tonnes of cocoa beans they used to produce, saying “Under the JA Kufuor administration, we were producing 1 million metric tonnes of cocoa but now it has reduced to 778,000 metric tonnes. And we are also looking to restoring the glory of the cocoa sector.
“There are other issues we must fix but these are the two major ones I think we must deal with immediately to strengthen the sector.”