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ICU & GAWU accuse COCOBOD of stealing over $10m from govt

cocoa beansThe Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) and the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) have called on the government to investigate management of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) over alleged corrupt practices.

According to ICU and GAWU, government loses over $10 million due to fraudulent activities undertaken by COCOBOD.

“This is done as thousands of tons of cocoa are sold by management of COCOBOD through the ‘Special Sample Residue’ method which are hidden from government and for which no proper accounts are maintained,” ICU and GAWU said in a joint press statement released today and signed by Solomon Kotei and Kingsley Ofei-Nkansah, General Secretaries respectively.

The statement further alleged that cocoa weighing systems are not properly calibrated allowing COCOBOD to collude with local processors to deliver more cocoa beans than the contracted quantity of beans.

“The cocoa weighing system used by COCOBOD is not accurate so most of the bags of coca weigh more than standard sales weight of 62.5kg. Therefore, all cocoa delivered in excess of the weight per ton is also paid for separate from the main contract sum,” ICU and GAWU alleged.

“We, therefore, call on the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and government to investigate the management of COCOBOD for their corrupt practices,” it said.

The allegations, according to ICU and GAWU expose the rot and canker entrenched at the COCOBOD through which management of the COCOCBOD have employed dubious means to enter into numerous deals that caused financial loss to the state.

The new allegations are the latest attempt by ICU and GAWU to frustrate attempts by workers of COCOBOD from creating their own labour union.

Meanwhile, at a press conference yesterday, the Chairman of the Supreme Consultative Council (SCC) of the COCOBOD, Idris Hassan maintained that the staff of COCOBOD would go ahead and register their own labour union which will be independent of the ICU and GAWU.

“We are registering our own labour union to ensure that we provide the needed welfare support the staff of COCOBOD and other workers in the cocoa industry,” Hassan said.

“ICU and GAWU are reacting because they know they will lose membership and substantial amount of revenue from our members,” he added.
Nii Okai Tetteh | Onua FM | tv3network.com

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