Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) Chief Executive, Dr. Stephen K. Opuni, was over the weekend made the new Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), to rescue it from its dwindling fortunes.
He replaces Anthony Fofie, who commences his leave, prior to the expiration of his contract at the end of the year.
COCOBOD has been on its knees for years now. There have been reports of dwindling cocoa production with Ghana, still slugging behind neighbouring Cote D’ Ivoire, despite that country’s civil unrest.
It has also been discovered that more cocoa farmers in the country, now sell their farms to illegal Chinese miners who engage in Galamsey.
Other cocoa growing areas in the country, have also abandoned the cultivation of the economic crop and looking elsewhere for survival.
Dr. Opuni’s appointment is, therefore, seen as an attempt to rescue the Institution that has been bringing billions of foreign exchange into state coffers, just as he has done with the FDA.
He is credited with bringing the Authority to its current enviable status. He took over when it was a mere Board and pushed for Parliamentary enactment to be made an Authority.
He used Internally Generated Funds (IGF) to complete an abandoned office complex at North Dzorwulu in Accra. Before this, FDA used to occupy a rented office, costing it hundreds of thousands of United States dollars, located on the Independence Avenue, next to Agriculture Development Bank (ADB) Head Office.
President Mahama has meanwhile appointed a Pharmacist, Hudu Mogtari, as Acting Chief Executive of the FDA to replace Dr. Opuni.
Mr. Mogtari holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration, a BSc in Pharmacy and a Professional Qualification in Pharmacy Practice from the Pharmacy Council in 1994.
President Mahama also has appointed a former Minister for Interior, William K. Aboah, as his National Security Adviser.
Mr. Aboah is a retired Commissioner of Police who was once the Head of the Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID). He has also served as the Director General of the Ghana Immigration Service.
The former police chief is taking over from Brigadier General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, who is now Head of the Human Security Department of the National Security Council Secretariat.