The 2021 Auditor General’s Report has charged Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to engage the Ministry of Finance to recover ¢2.25 billion that the government owed the cocoa regulator as of September 30, 2020.
This was because of the supply of cocoa beans to Genertec International Corporation (GIC), government’s revenue support on producer price of cocoa and excess export duties paid by the COCOBOD for GIC on cocoa beans exported.
The report also noted that COCOBOD has a relatively huge loan portfolio totalling ¢12.301 billion as of the end of the 2019/2020 financial year.
“We urged management to deploy and implement effective plans and strategies that would lead to the reduction of the Board’s [COCOBOD] indebtedness within the medium to long term”.
It further said “we noted during our review of 2019/2020 approved budget statement that COCOBOD expended an amount of ¢230.70 million on the principal repayment amount of a 10-year loan with Bank of Ghana (BoG) which was not included in the approved budget for 2019/2020 financial year.
We advised Management to ensure that all the Board’s activities are adequately provided for in its estimates and ensure that it operates within its approved budget”.
It also said its review of the recovery of seed funds from Licence Buying Companies (LBCs) revealed that management could not recover seed funds and accrued interest totalling ¢47.024 million from LBCs for more than four cocoa seasons contrary to the provisions in the law.
“We urged management to recover the amount from the banks that guaranteed these facilities for the companies failing which the Board should pray the court to lift the veils of incorporation of these defaulting companies to demand the total indebtedness from the Directors and personalities behind these companies”.
Cocoa Marketing Company
The report identified that the company’s receivable aging report revealed that a total of $179.572 million in debt was overdue as of 30th September 2020.
“To effectively manage the recovery of the debts, we recommended to Management to institute innovative measures to collect the debt”.
Quality Control Company Limited (QCC)
The report noted that QCC invested an amount of¢500,000 in a vehicle loan investment account at the UMB Investment Holdings Limited (UMB IHL) contrary to the investment policy of the Cocoa Board.
It is further recommended to Management to avoid placing the Company funds in similar investment houses.
Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG)
The report said the lack of effective control over the utilisation and accountability of monies lead to unretired imprest totalling ¢878,586 by November 30, 2020.
It, therefore, recommended that the amount be converted into advances against the officers and recovered from their salaries.