Ghana Cocoa Board to submit to Parliament for retrospective approval of worthless agrochemicals

The management of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) says it they are working with directors for onward submission to Parliament for retrospective approval of the write-off values of some expired agrochemicals and fertilizers.

The management’s comments came on the back of the Auditor-General’s report indicated that the institutions’ Board of Directors failed to seek parliamentary approval before writing off the values of the said agrochemicals and fertilizers which amounted to Ghc23,957,520.65.

In its statement issued in reaction to the Auditor-General’s report, COCOBOD said it “sought approval from the Board of Directors to write off the value of the expired agro-inputs” from its books when an internal audit revealed that the products in question had expired from volume in stock.

Below is the full statement by the management:

REJOINDER: AUDITOR-GENERAL’S REPORT ON EXPIRED CHEMICALS AND FERTILIZERS AT COCOBOD.

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 fertilizers and agrochemicals valued at Ghc23.9 million had been written off from the books of the Ghana Cocoa Board (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 fertilizers and agrochemicals for distribution to cocoa farmers across the cocoa regions. Usually, these agrochemicals and fertilizers procured are distributed and applied the same year.

When the current Management took over administration in 2017, it was surprising to find out that there were significant volumes of chemicals and fertilizers in stock. It, therefore, caused an audit to be conducted on the items which revealed that some fertilizers and agrochemicals valued at Ghc23,957, 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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