Opuni To Head Cocobod?
Dr. Stephen Opuni, the controversial head of the foods and drugs authority (FDA) appears to be a young man on the rise. From the relatively quiet consulting rooms of the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi where he practiced his profession as an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Opuni was thrust onto the country by the mills’ administration after the NDC won the 2008 general elections.
He was posted to the FDA then known as the Foods And Drugs Board (FDB) as its first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) under mills. Somehow, before the end of the first four years of that regime, the young surgeon managed to complete the transition of the FDB into an autonomous authority now known as the FDA.
Now unconfirmed reports have it that the young doctor could be on his way to assume the top most job at GHANA’S COCOBOD as its chief executive officer (CEO). Scandal has gathered that Dr. Opuni has received his letter and his appointment, barring any last minute changes, will be announced any moment from now.
Dr. Opuni’s appointment as chief executive officer of Cocobod if it is confirmed comes on the heels of a protracted and yet to be settled ‘capital war’ that he and his FDA started with yet another indigenous pharmaceutical company-Tobinco company barely two weeks ago.
The last time we heard the FDA speak on the subject, they were taking the minister of health- madam Sherry Ayittey on, for suggesting that she was going to set up a committee to look into the FDA-Tobinco brouhaha. The FDA reminded her that her ministry had imported some fake condoms worth over six million dollars and that she should first investigate those imports before she crosses over to examine the Tobinco matter.
Dr. Opuni’s five years stint with the FDA has been a heated one. He has come against many companies, seized many goods and destroyed same all in the name of public safety. The problem really is that Dr. Opuni and his FDA are so powerful that if you fall into their net (or is it that they drag people into their net), no one can deliver you.
The truth is that the FDA sometimes comes across as a police officer, a prosecutor and a judge in their own court. They are the ones who inspect your products and decide if they should be registered under our laws. They are the ones who can determine whether your products are fake or genuine and whether they are suitable for consumption. They are the ones that can command the seizure and destruction of your goods and the law backs them in all these.
In all these matters, there is no independent verifier or arbiter. It is always the FDAs’ word against the companies involved. And so where there is a clash of interests or egos the FDA and its leaders always stand supreme. While Dr. Opuni has not been accused of impunity or arbitrariness in all his standoffs with companies, there is no doubt that his style has generated a lot of heat in the FDA since he took over.
The Cocobod is Ghana’s largest industry and a major source of revenue. Cocobod deals with a large number of buying agencies and intermediaries with varied backgrounds in the execution of its very important mandates. It is the hope of all that all these are taken into consideration as Dr. Opuni heads for the seat of CEO of Cocobod.
We are aware that Dr. Opuni has had to fight off a lot of competition to arrive at this job. for nearly one year now the competition for the job has been going on. The main backers (a king and a queen) of the contestants have been at work. And now the queen has won and Opuni is the man. Go on Dr. Stephen Opuni. Your time has come.
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