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General News of Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Opuni should have rejected GHc70, 000 salary – MP


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The Vice Chair of the Cocoa Affairs Committee of Parliament, Kwame Asafu Adjei, has said the former Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Stephen Opuni, should have rejected the GHc70,000 paid him as monthly salary.

Asafu Adjei, who is also the Member of Parliament for the Nsuta-Kwamang-Beposo Constituency, said he was shocked upon hearing that the COCOBOD CEO receive such a colossal amount.

His comment follows the revelation by the new Board Chair for COCOBOD, Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, who similarly expressed concern about the huge salary.

“For me, it is absolutely unthinkable that the gross salary of the Chief Executive Officer should be in the neighbourhood of GHc 70,000 to GHc 75,000 a month, and the net is about GHc 55, 000 to GHc 57,000 a month. If you even discount this by 50 percent, it would still be higher than anybody under article 71 of the constitution,” Hackman Owusu-Agyeman noted.

The revelation has stirred public debate with many Ghanaians questioning the rational in paying such huge amounts at the expense of cocoa farmers who are largely impoverished, coupled with the fact that the cocoa sector hasn’t seen significant growth.

Mr. Asafu Adjei, in an interview with Citi News’ Duke Mensah-Opoku, said the best thing Dr. Opuni should have done was to have turned down the money on moral grounds. “I was shocked and surprised to hear that a whooping sum of GHc70,000 is paid to the Chief Executive of COCOBOD.

I don’t even believe that the President is even paid GHc30, 000. How can a public servant collect that sum? I don’t know the operations and organization of COCOBOD, but if it is anything at all, it is the board of directors that approve the money and I believe that the Chief Executive, morally, should have refused that huge sum.”

“The board has approved it so what? The board does not own COCOBOD, so he should have said, thank you, but I can’t take GHc70, 000,” Asafu Adjei insisted. I’ll cut salaries of top management Hackman Owusu-Agyeman has indicated his commitment to ensure a reduction in the salaries of the top management members of the state agency.

Mr. Owusu-Agyeman asserted that, COCOBOD as an institution had to fall in line with the state remuneration structure.

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