Kasapafmonline.com is reporting that four licensed buying companies are seriously being pursued by COCOBOD for owing it to the tune of GH₵3,688,491.96.
The firms are SUNCOM Seed Fund, Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association, Sunshine Commodities and Big Fat Company.
SUNCOM Seed Fund owes COCOBOD GH₵989,085.88 while the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association is indebted to the Board to the tune of GH₵2,626,000.00.
Sunshine Commodities on the other hand owes COCOBOD GH₵49,787.16 with Big Fat Company said to be indebted to the Board to the tune of GH₵23,618.92.
The decision of COCOBOD to give the four firms a hot for their money was necessitated by a recommendation from the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament (PAC) to ensure prompt recovery of debts.
“The Committee therefore urges Management of COCOBOD to send reminder letters to the affected companies and actively pursue the recovery of the amounts owed by them,” a report of the Public Accounts Committee in part read.
The said report on the Reports of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana – public Boards, Corporations and other statutory institutions for the years ended December 31, 2010 and 2011 was adopted by Parliament on July 9, 2015.
The legislature had lamented over the attitude of some state institutions that has resulted in the country losing over GH₵2,124,889,750 over a period under review.
The losses were incurred through outstanding debts/loan recoveries, cash irregularities, payroll irregularities, contract/procurement irregularities, stores irregularities and tax irregularities.
Outstanding debts/loan recoverable accounted for GH₵118,033,660 with tax irregularities recording GH₵1,792,508 during the period under review.
The Auditor-General attributed the causes of the irregularities to systemic weaknesses such as: weak internal controls; lack of supervision; failure by Heads of Institutions to sanction wrong doers to serve as deterrent to others; non-adherence to relevant rules and regulations; lack of policies; and improper contract management.
Inside sources say the companies have since September 30, 2010 made no payments to COCOBOD despite several attempts by the Board to recover the debt.
However, with the recommendation by the PAC, COCOBOD, our source said has devised an alternative way of recovering the debts.
The strategy was immediately not known but the source said COCOBOD would soon announce to Parliament about the progress made.