Ghana Cocoa Board has issued a rejoinder to the Auditor-General’s report on expired chemicals and fertilizer with the assurance that prudent measures have been adopted to prevent a recurrence.
The Auditor-General (AG) in its 2020 report found, among others, that fertilizer and agrochemicals valued at GH¢23.9 million had expired in the custody of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD).
The report captured further that the Board of Directors in 2018 approved for the debt of almost 24 million Ghana Cedis to be written off without parliamentary approval.
“We noted during our review that the Board of Directors approved the write-off of GH¢23,957,525.07 as the Value of Expired Chemicals and Fertilizers from the Books of COCOBOD during the 396th meeting of the Board of Directors held on Tuesday 30th October, and 2nd November 2018,” the AG observed.
But in its reaction, COCOBOD further assured it was already in the process of procuring parliamentary approval to cover the said write-off.
“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,” stated management.
“We wish to assure our stakeholders that prudent measures have been put in place to prevent the recurrence of issues of this nature,” it added.
COCOBOD procures fertilizers and agrochemicals for distribution to cocoa farmers across the cocoa regions.
The Board maintains that usually, these agrochemicals and fertilizers procured are distributed and applied the same year.
“When the current Management took over administration in 2017, it was surprised 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,” it explained.
The statement issued by the management of Cocobod recounted that it subsequently sought approval from the Board of Directors to write off the value of the expired agro-inputs from the books of COCOBOD, approval of which was duly granted.