Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has this month, June 2020, completely paid up the $1.3-billion syndicated loan facility contracted for the 2019/2020 cocoa crop purchases.
Chief Executive of COCOBOD Joseph Boahen Aidoo, revealed in Accra Tuesday, that the Board in spite of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, has cleared up its 2019/2020 syndicated loan facility this month, 3 months ahead of schedule.
Proposals By Banks For 2020/2021 $1.3 Billion Syndicated Loan
He also disclosed COCOBOD, is presently reviewing proposals it has received from a number of international banks to raise funds for its annual syndicated loan.
Mr Boahen Aidoo said COCOBOD is presently engaged in the usual negotiations which follow such proposals before reaching an agreement.
It is expected that the cocoa authority and its financing partners will complete negotiations and sign an agreement in September this year.
Speaking at a ceremony this week that unveiled $600-million loan facility arranged by AfDB and others, the COCOBOD Chief Executive downplayed recent media reportage suggesting that COCOBOD’s international financial partners are reluctant to raise the US$1.3billion syndicated loan to fund the 2020/2021 cocoa season purchases due to perceived risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Inaccurate Media Reports
“(It’s) simply not accurate. They do not reflect the current state of engagements between COCOBOD and its financial partners,” he said.
Mr Aidoo recounted that “COCOBOD issued Requests for Proposals (RFP) in February 2020 to International Banks to raise the funds for the 2020/2021 cocoa purchases.”
“On the 12th of June 2020, the financial institutions including COCOBOD’s traditional Banks submitted their proposals. Evaluation of the proposals was held on 18th June 2020 by an in-house committee chaired by the Chief Executive with representatives from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana”, he disclosed.
“So, COCOBOD is currently negotiating the terms of the proposals with the Banks; which is the normal practice. Once the terms are finalised, all due processes will be followed through to their logical conclusion, up to the signing of the facility which is expected in September 2020.”
He gave an assurance to all of COCOBOD’s stakeholders and partners that the process for securing the US$1.3billion syndicated loan facility is indeed moving steadily and is expected to be finalised on schedule.