FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11/01/2019, Nkwame Nkrumah Avenue, Accra – The attention of the Management of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has been drawn to an online publication on Wednesday 9th January 2019 in which some allegations were made against the Board Chairman of COCOBOD, Hon. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang.
The allegation that Hon. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang “pocketed” some per diem for travel he did not embark upon is completely false. He was indeed scheduled to attend a programme on Corporate Governance and Leadership outside the country; for which per diem was issued to him.
Unfortunately due to ill-health, Hon. Owusu-Agyemang was not able to attend the programme. He, as such, returned the full sum of money issued to him as per diem to the Solicitor Secretary from whom he received the money in the first place.
The programme in question, which the Board Chairman was unable to attend, was organised for board members and senior executives of corporations and organisations across the world. Attendees included board members of other statutory corporations from Ghana and from many other countries.
On the subject of staff bonuses, it must be made clear that the current Board of COCOBOD has not taken a decision to scrap the bonus system for the staff of COCOBOD as have been alleged and no one, not the Board Chairman or any other person, is championing having the payment of bonuses ceased.
We wish to put on record that the Board of Directors of COCOBOD is made up of very reputable persons and one person cannot take decisions in the name of the Board. The Board Chairman and his colleagues have a cordial relationship. He is not authoritarian.
Also, it is part of the tradition of COCOBOD that its Board Chairman has an office space to work from. COCOBOD has, as such, maintained an office for the Board Chairman since Cocoa House was constructed in 1960. Hon. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang had no need to set up an office on the fourth floor of Cocoa House Accra. In fact, except on days of board meetings. he hardly visits Cocoa House.
The allegation that contracts exceeding a margin of GH₵60,000 should be run by him is also false.
We are very much appalled by what seems to be a clear effort of some people dedicated to attacking the person of Hon. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang and tarnishing his image by badgering him with false allegations and fake news, week in, week out. It is at the very least very unfortunate and must stop.
We wish to state, emphatically. that the Board of Directors of COCOBOD under his chairmanship has worked tirelessly and conscientiously with Management to put in place policies that will put COCOBOD back on a sound financial footing and improve the welfare and well-being of farmers and staff. These policies are yielding the desired results and the efforts of all involved must be commended.
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