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General News of Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Source: classfmonline.com

Expired fertiliser: We did no wrong writing off GH¢23.9m debt – COCOBOD

COCOBOD CEO Joseph Boahen Aidoo COCOBOD CEO Joseph Boahen Aidoo

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has said it did no wrong in writing off some GH¢23.9 million debt attributed to expired fertilisers and agrochemicals from its books in 2018.

In a statement, the management of COCOBOD said: “When the current management took over administration in 2017, it was surprised to find out that there were significant volumes of chemicals and fertilisers in stock”.

“It, therefore, caused an audit to be conducted on the items which revealed that some fertilisers and agrochemicals valued at 23,957, 520.65 had expired,” COCOBOD noted.

Further to that COCOBOD noted that the management “sought approval from the Board of Directors to write off the value of the expired agro-inputs from the books of COCOBOD, an approval which was duly granted.”

Read COCOBOD’s full statement below:

The Auditor-General, in his report on the Public Accounts of Ghana: Public Boards, Corporations and other Statutory Institutions for the period ended December 31, 2020, indicated that expired fertilisers and agrochemicals valued at GH¢23.9 million had been written off from the books of COCOBOD by the Board of Directors in 2018 without parliamentary approval.

The report has since been re-published by various media houses and online portals, as well as social and political commentators across the country.

We wish to update Ghanaians, especially our cherished cocoa farmers and other stakeholders, with the facts behind the said report.

COCOBOD procures fertilisers and agrochemicals for distribution to cocoa farmers across the cocoa regions. Usually, these agrochemicals and fertilisers procured are distributed and applied the same year.

When the current Management took over administration in 2017, it was surprising to find that there were significant volumes of chemicals and fertilisers in stock.

It, therefore, caused an audit to be conducted on the items, which revealed that some fertilisers and agrochemicals valued at GH¢23,957,520.65 had expired.

Management subsequently sought approval from the Board of Directors to write off the value of the expired agro-inputs from the books of COCOBOD, an approval which was duly granted.

Management is working with the Board of Directors for onward submission to Parliament for retrospective approval of the write-off through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

We wish to assure our stakeholders that prudent measures have been put in place to prevent the recurrence of issues of this nature.

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