The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) earns a whopping Gh¢70,000 monthly, according to the new board chairman of the outfit Hackman Owusu-Agyeman.
According to the former Foreign Affairs Minister, the figure is “outrageous” hence the decision to slash the salaries of top management of COCOBOD.
He noted that despite the cut some top managers of COCOBOD will still earn more than the president and other Article 71 office holders which is pegged around Gh¢22,000.
“COCOBOD is a state institution. It cannot be taken out of the context of the overall remuneration structure and within the executive and those ancillary services.
“For me, it is absolutely unthinkable that the gross salary of the Chief Executive Officer should be in the neighbourhood of GHc 70,000 to GHc 75,000 a month, and the net is about GHc 55, 000 to GHc 57,000 a month. If you even discount this by 50 percent, it would still be higher than anybody under article 71 of the constitution,” the MP told Accra-based Citi FM.
Mr. Owusu-Agyeman lamented the fact that several cocoa farmers are living in deplorable situations while officials of the supervisory body are benefiting from their toil.
“If they were making profits, it would have been a different story, but in the last three to five years, there has been deficit upon deficit. If you are making no profit and we begin to say we want to discipline and trim down expense and what have you, then you have to look at the whole thing.
“The top management is what I am really concerned with, and I believe we have to do an audit and come out with what we believe are reasonable levels. When you look at how the salary of the top management has risen over the last two years, it has doubled from what it was three years ago,” he revealed.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has charged the newly sworn in Board of Directors of COCOBOD to work tirelessly to lift Ghana’s Cocoa production to 1 million tonnes per annum.
Speaking after administering two oaths to the 11- member board, the President said Ghana’s Cocoa sector has been awash with widespread corruption which are under investigation. He urged the new board to ensure that their tenure is rid of corruption.
Mr. Owusu-Agyeman, in a response to the Proposals of the President after the swearing in ceremony said the Cocoa sector is bedeviled with many challenges, however, he and his new team will work with Cocoa farmers in the country to turn the Sector around financially and Production wise.
He also touched on a possible restructuring of salaries and benefits of top managers of the Cocoa Marketing Company to reflect the real circumstances of the Cocoa Sector.
The members of the new board of Directors of the Cocoa Marketing Company included; Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Mr. Kwame Sarpong, Dr. Abdul Nashiru Issahaku, Nana Adwoa Doku and Nana Johnson Mensah. The rest are Nana Obeng Akrofi, Peter Atta Boakye, Charles Adu Boahen, Carlos Ahenkorah and Gyiele Nurah.