You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2006 02 04Article 98786

Opinions of Saturday, 4 February 2006

Columnist: Ampofo Ofori

Rejoinder--Cocobod Imports Jute Sacks.

COCOA HAS BEEN THE BACKBONE OF GHANA?S ECONOMY FOR DECADES. NOBODY WILL DESPUTE THIS FACT.

We all know that for years now, the COCOBOD has been importing jute sacks for use by our farmers. Nobody can explain to Ghanaians, why the jute factory established during the First Republic was closed down for production. During the 2000 Electioneering campaign, the National Patriotic Party is said to have promised the People of Kumasi, to rehabilitate the abandoned factory and others when voted into power.

The N.P.P fortunately won the people?s mandate, and has since been in Government Unfortunately, for some reasons unknown to the public, the campaign promise to rehabilitate this important factory of our economy has not been fulfilled.

On Ghana web Business news of 25th January, 2006, it was reported that the COCOBOD is importing Jute sacks from our neighboring Cote d?Ivoire as a stop-gap measure to resolve the acute shortage that was hampering haulage of cocoa beans from buying centers for shipment. How can anybody explain this satisfactorily?

Mr. Tony Fofie, the Deputy Chief Executive, COCOBOD, in his explanation, told the Ghana News Agency that, his outfit was renewing earlier efforts to revive the defunct Kumasi jute factory to permanently end the recurrence of sack shortages. Whether this statement is true or just a face saving statement, we would like the Government to expedite action on this important Industry because of its significance to the National Economy. Five years is enough periods for us to have rehabilitated this very important industry. DO NOT POLITICISE THIS ISSUE PLEASE CRITICS. If we cannot borrow to rehabilitate the jute factory which is very important to the national economy, and which can also employ hundreds of people, why do we find it necessary to borrow to renovate the Peduase Lodge and Flag staff House? Something must be wrong in the judgment capabilities of our Leaders.

This is a typical example of Practical management flaws that the World Bank Director for Ghana MR. Mat. Karlsson talked about in his submission ?GHANA CAN NOT COMPLAIN?, in the daily Graphic of 30th December, 2005. Mr. Karlsson was critically referring to efficiency lapses in management; and said, if every school is supposed to have a set of Text books, go to the schools and check whether the text books got there or not. If not what could be the answer? The same question could go for other sectors of the national economy. Practical and effective supervision is very important.

Explaining why there was the shortage of supply from the traditional suppliers, mainly India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, Mr. Tony Fofie, attributed it to unforeseen operational hitches. WERE THEY UNFORSEEN OPERATIONAL HITCHES FROM ALL THE THREE TRADITIONAL SUPPLIERS OR, OPERATIONAL HITCHES FROM COCOBOD? We may never know the answer but; Whatever the operational hitches were, somebody should have done proper monitoring to know ahead of time that there would be shot supply of Jute sacks for our Farmers and acted accordingly. This is gross irresponsibility and inefficiency, on the part of somebody, either at the COCOBOD administrative chain or in the corridors of Government. I do not really care who that somebody may be, but I believe somebody must be fired for gross INEFFICIENCY AND NEGLEGENCE OF DUTY.

It is irrelevant now to find out who did what .A commentator on the article blamed Rawlings for closing the factory down and sold the production machines. That is not very important now as far as I am concerned. The important question is whether it is good and viable for the world?s NO2 cocoa producer Ghana, to reactivate her abandoned Jute Factory to sustain her cocoa industry?

I WILL SAY YES AND EVEN AS A PRIORITY OVER BORROWING TO REHABILITATE PEDUASE LODGE AND THE FLAGSTAFF HOUSE.

GOD BLESSES OUR HOMELAND AND OUR PEOPLE.

AMPOFO OFORI
(CHAIRMAN. SAVE GHANA NOW ASSOCIATION)


Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.