Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), has revealed that he inherited a total debt of GHS10billion from the past management headed by Dr Stephen Opuni.
According to him, this debt has been a major challenge for him as CEO but measures have been put in place to pay.
Mr Aidoo, a former Member of Parliament for Amenfi East and a former Western Regional Minister under the Kufuor administration, was appointed as the CEO of COCOBOD by President Nana Addo Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in February this year.
He replaced Dr Stephen Opuni who was appointed by former President John Mahama.
Speaking in an interview with Chief Jerry Forson, host of Ghana Yensom on Accra 100.5FM on Wednesday June 7, Mr Aidoo said: “I inherited some challenges but the major one is the GHS10 billion debt. But we have started settling this debt and by the end of September we will ensure that all these debts have been paid. We can’t even pay bonuses to our workers because we are settling debts, we have also cancelled end-of-year anniversaries because we don’t have money to finance such events. We need to focus on paying this debt.
“The other problem we inherited is the fall in the tonnes of cocoa beans we used to produce. Under the JA Kufuor administration, we were producing 1 million metric tonnes of cocoa but now it has reduced to 778,000 metric tonnes. And we are also looking to restoring the glory of the cocoa sector.
“There are other issues we must fix but these are the two major ones I think we must deal with immediately to strengthen the sector.”