The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Cocobod, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has disputed a publication by Reuters which attributed a story to him that, Ghana Cocoabod would not be able to fully pay back $1.3 billion loans collected from its lenders.
The CEO told Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, the story was a false representation of an interview he granted to the local representative of Bloomberg.
According to Bloomberg, Ghana would not be able to pay the loan because the Ghana will only produce about 700,000 tonnes of cocoa this season, which is below the initial forecast of 850,000 tonnes due to poor rainfall during the main crop harvest.
But explaining further, the CEO said he did not talk about the payment of the loan rather we talked about the forecast Cocobod anticipated.
He explained that, although the forecast for last year was not achieved, they have sold enough that would help them pay the 1.3 billion.
‘’We have secured enough cocoa to pay for the loan. On paper we have signed the contract and secured enough cocoa to pay for the 1.3 billion,’’ he added.
He emphasized that, Cocobod has shown enough commitment to meet its obligations under the loan agreement and would take steps to enhance the assignments, collections and repayment processes associated with the facility.He also pointed out that, when you are able to produce over 600,000 tonnes of cocoa despite a target of 85,000, you would be secured to pay your loan.
Ghana Cocoa Board signed a $1.3 billion loan with international banks last year to fund purchases for the 2017/18 season.
The loan was signed in Paris with 25 banks led by Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Standard Bank, Natixis, Rabobank, Ghana International Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.
The cocoa sector accounts for 4.5 per cent of GDP and contributes 25 per cent of Ghana’s merchandise export earnings.