Business News of Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Jospeh Boahen Aidoo, a former Western Regional Minister under the previous Kufuor administration, has been appointed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD).
Mr Aidoo, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Amenfi East, whose appointment letter was handed to him last week, is expected to restore sanity at the state institution.
Born in Sefwi Ewiase in the Western Region, Mr Aidoo, an educationist, is married with five children.
It would be recalled that the former CEO was sacked through a dismissal letter from the Presidency signed by Nana Asante Bediatuo, Secretary to the President.
It asked him to vacate his office not later than 5:00 pm on January 13, 2017.
Immediately after his dismissal, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister-designate for Agriculture, was tasked to play oversight role at COCOBOD, pending the naming of a new CEO by government.
The former CEO’s tenure has been fraught with allegations of victimization, cronyism and corruption, among others.
Battle with union workers
There were also reports of bad blood between the former CEO and unionized workers with the Industrial Commercial Workers Union (ICU) championing the interests of workers.
They accused Dr. Opuni of master-minding the break-up of the leadership of union workers in the cocoa sector.
In the heat of the struggle, the aggrieved workers at one point claimed Ghana lost more than $10 million because of the alleged dealings of Dr Opuni.
Other managers affected
Top managers at COCOBOD under Dr Opuni were recently asked by government to proceed on leave, according to a directive issued by Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto.
Those who were asked to proceed on leave included Deputy Chief Executive (Finance & Administration), Deputy Chief Executive (Agronomy & Quality Control), Deputy Chief Executive (Operations), Director of Finance.
The rest were Deputy Director of Finance, Deputy Director of Audit, Director of Civil Works and Procurement Manager.
At the Cocoa Marketing Company Limited, the Managing Director, Deputy MD, Director, Legal Services, Deputy Director, Finance, were all asked to go home by the sector minister.
Under Opuni, workers were allegedly dismissed and transferred without recourse to laid down procedures.