A recent publication about Ghana’s Rich List has put Patricia Poku-Diaby, touted as the richest woman in the country, in big trouble, with Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) chasing her for its money.
Ms Poku-Diaby, a business woman and cocoa merchant, is said to be owing Cocobod an amount of $26.7 million.
Though she was recently named the richest Ghanaian woman and eighth richest Ghanaian in general, her company, Plot Enterprise Ghana Limited, is said to be one of five cocoa processing companies that owe Cocobod up to $131 million.
The other companies that owe Cocobod are WAMCO – $49.52 million; Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) – $46.36; Afro Tropic – $6.92 million and Real Products – $2.24 million.
According to information gathered by DAILY GUIDE, outstanding debt owed by the five companies as at 2014 was $210 million until the new board put in some measures which resulted in part payments of the debt by the companies.
Patricia Poku-Diaby was recently named the eighth richest Ghanaian among 80 Ghanaian businessmen and entrepreneurs with a net worth of $720 million in a list compiled by a management and consultancy firm, Goodman AMC, dubbed, ‘The Ghana Wealth Report’.
The news about her net worth sent shockwaves and stirred controversy at Cocobod, as management and staff could not come to terms with why Ms Poku-Diaby had refused to honour her paltry $26.7 million indebtedness to the company, even though she is worth $720 million.
According to a Cocobod management member who spoke to DAILY GUIDE, they were shocked about the net worth of Ms Poku-Diaby.
‘How can she be that rich and yet refuse to pay Cocobod?’ he asked.
He said several attempts by Cocobod to get her to honour the $26.7 million indebtedness had proved futile.
‘It is intriguing that in spite of Patricia Poku-Diaby’s acclaimed riches, her company has not been able to settle its indebtedness for smooth delivery of beans for their operations,’ the management member said.
According to him, instead of focusing on paying off her debt, Madam Patricia had rather sought support from some powerful politicians and influential individuals in the country to enable her company continue to receive supplies from Cocobod.
However, he said, as part of measures to save the board from going bankrupt, Cocobod had stopped supplying cocoa beans to companies that owed it and had further put in place arrangements to forestall the recurrence of such indebtedness by making it mandatory for local processing companies sourcing cocoa beans from Cocobod to provide bank guarantees.
By Cephas Larbi
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