Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD has explained that there was no money in a fund ostensibly created during the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama administration.
He explained in an interview on Asempa FM (September 13) that the said amount despite having being captured in the 2020 Auditor-General’s report was merely a book entry which actually dated back to 2011 when John Mahama was a vice president.
He explained: “it is one thing to create a ledger with the view to put money in it and another thing to create a fund. If I heard Miracles very well, he meant there is no fund, and truly, there is no fund.
Aidoo explained that even with the current plan by the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government to set aside some 74 million cedis into a fund, that amount is not readily available despite the announcement.
“There is no money in the cocoa farmers’ pension trust created by Mahama and the NDC for farmers’ pension. In which account did Mahama pay the seed capital of GH¢28m for the farmers’ pension into? NDC should show us and when?” he challenged.
The issue of the fund has gained prominence during exchanges on recent hike in prices of cocoa by the government.
National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Sammy Gyamfi first raised the fact that John Dramani Mahama had left behind a pension fund to cater for cocoa farmers.
He was challenged by Dennis Miracles Aboagye, a presidential staffer who refuted Sammy’s claim when the duo met on Accra-based Asempa FM to discuss issues around the recent hike in cocoa prices as announced by government.
Subsequently, Sammy Gyamfi provided evidence in a social media post citing the 2020 Auditor-General’s report where the said amount was earmarked.
GhanaWeb checks in the said report proved that indeed the amount was quoted in the report.
Portions of the report read: 1246. Contrary to the section stated above, we noted the following;
i. The Board did not establish a contributory insurance scheme for cocoa, coffee and shea nuts farmers since the law came into force over 38 years ago.
ii. The Board of Directors did not provide any regulation as evidence to give full implementation of the Social Security Scheme for the farmers.
1247. Our further review of the Account ledgers disclosed that, the Board has set aside from profit a total of GH¢28,898,676.88 in prior periods to meet the requirement of section 26 of the PNDCL 265 however, Management has not invested the amount in any Trust. A seven (7) years analysis of the funds set aside is detailed in table 132.