…..COCOBOD Union Chair Warns Staff
By Gifty Arthur
The Chairman of the Supreme Consultative Council of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Alhaji Idris Hassan, has advised officials to desist from stealing cocoa inputs meant for farmers to increase yields.
According to Alhaji Idris Hassan, there are some unscrupulous officials, who go about stealing cocoa inputs such as, fertilizers, chemicals for selfish reasons, adding that although, previous culprits have been punished with dismissal, it has not deterred others, as they seem adamant of the consequences.
He said, despite the fact that officials take every incentive in addition to their fairly good salary, some people, are still not satisfied and when they are caught they indeed admit to the crime.
Alhaji Hassan, who said this at an Emergency General Meeting yesterday in Accra warned, as it has been the tradition, the union would never come to the aid of anybody, when management apprehends him or her.
“At any given period of time that we hold meetings at the roof top, we always talk of pilfering, the more we talk about this issue, the more we abuse it, especially with our fertilizer and other inputs of the industry chemicals and what have you
“Day in and day out, staff are arrested for stealing and most of them, who appear before the Disciplinary Committee, accede that I have stolen and when in fact the law takes it course, people sit down and say management are people who always wants to have workers dismissed and the union is equally not defending the fundamental rights of the workers of the cocoa industry”, he said.
According to him, there are available reports from the Disciplinary Committee, which showed that people in the sector are occasionally arrested and they admit to the act.
He explained to the staff, who travelled from far and near “We can come out with reports where workers who appeared before the Disciplinary Committee accede that we have stolen and you expect management to say get away with it and expect the union to defend such course, that can never be feasible.
If that is done, then it stands to reason that we will all keep on stealing, because if you steal, you will get away with it, but it is something that is enshrined in the policy and equally even the Labour Act”.
He added “So what we are saying is that your friend has stolen he been summarily dismissed or that person’s appointment is terminated you know it and you steal go ahead to steal and you accede to stealing, it means you are digging your own grave”.
The meeting was to look at the performance of COCOBOD for the year which is almost ended and also the way forward for the coming year.
According to Alhaji Hassan, though they are yet to finalize everything concerning their performance for the year, he knows the year, has been good and it is likely, they will meet their target.
He said, this would be made possible, because of the many interventions introduced by the government. Some of these are, the construction of cocoa roads, the distribution of 60 million hybrid seedlings, mass spraying exercise, free fertilizer, provision of farming inputs and the introduction of government’s Youth in Cocoa Farming.
On some of the interventions such as the free fertilizer, he said other countries are wondering, how Ghana is able to do it and they are coming to learn from us.
He said, management has done it part to provide them with all the materials and tools they need to be efficient and so they have no business not to give off their best in 2017.
Unlike other workers, Alhaji Hassan, praised management for ensuring that their condition of service was one of the best in the country.
He announced, they have finally gotten their certificate to operate an in house union, after it decided to break away from mother unions.
On the coming elections, Alhaji Hassan, entreated the officers to be of good behaviour and vote for their choice of candidate and return to work safe and sound.