COCOBOD Corrects NPP’s Atta Akyea

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‘We Spent Only US$12,000 On Ceremony’

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), has refuted claims that it spent an amount of US$20,515.97 on the signing ceremony for the US$1.8billion cocoa syndicated loan at Paris, France, last year.

Head of Public Relations Directorate of COCOBOD, Noah Amenya, in an interview with TV3 on Wednesday night, said the expenditure on the ceremony was in two folds – US$12,000 on the signing ceremony, while the remaining US$8,515.97, was spent on creating a debit website for easy access to information relevant to the deal.

“The amount that is used for the rent … US$12,000 for the rental facility where there is a conference room – it is a whole complex thing put together.

The other one is to create a debit website which is credible, protected for other banks that are involved in the transaction to be able to access information relevant to the syndicated loan business and also other information relevant to other banks that will visit the website”, he noted.

His response was in connection to a concern raised by the by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea, on why the COCOBOD, should spend US$20,515.97 on the cocoa syndicated loan signing ceremony.

The MP, who was alarmed by the amount spent on the ceremony, urged Parliament to tighten the noose on COCOBOD, to ensure that they spend wisely.

“These are frightening situations that if we are not careful we will not be able to give a good account to the people of Ghana”, he noted.

But Mr. Amenya, said considering the caliber of high profile dignitaries drawn from a consortium of about 30 banks across the world, the amount spent on the signing ceremony was worth it.

“We are talking about a business that is bringing in almost US$2billion and you are bringing a consortium of banks between 25 and 30 banks with their representatives – high profile people. Are we saying that we should just put them in any structure without considering the security of the people who are signing the loan?”

“This loan is the biggest signed commodity loan in sub Saharan Africa. It is a serious business which was value for money. The signing was done in Paris and therefore we needed to get a facility that has the security to protect all these high profile people representing their banks all over the world. You cannot just go in for any hotel at all.

You need a hotel facility that can provide that security for such high profile people so that there is no incident during or after the signing ceremony”, he noted.

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