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COCOBOD Replaces Sacked Workers With Pensioners
 
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02-Mar-2017  
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Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto
 
 
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Some 11 top managers of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) who were asked to proceed on leave last month, have been replaced with persons some of whom are on retirement, 3news.com has reliably been informed. There has been an ongoing shakeup exercise at COCOBOD following the dismissal of Dr. Stephen Opuni as the CEO, with that of about 300 middle level staff pending. In January, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto was said to have ordered the dismissal of 11 technocrats at the various divisions of COCOBOD.


Those asked to proceed on leave effective January 30, 2017, included Deputy Chief Executive (Finance & Administration), Deputy Chief Executive (Agronomy & Quality Control), Deputy Chief Executive (Operations) and the Director of Finance. The rest are Deputy Director of Finance, Deputy Director of Audit, Director of Civil Works and the Procurement Manager. Those affected at the Cocoa Marketing Company Ltd are the Managing Director (MD), Deputy MD, Director Legal Services, Deputy Director and the Finance Director. Meanwhile, some pensioners have subsequently been re-engaged to run affairs at COCOBOD.


Although 3news.com’s source at COCOBOD confirmed the recall of the pensioners, she could not provide their names. Interestingly a statement issued by pressure group Greater Alliance for Accountable Government (GAFAG) corroborated the recruitment of the retirees. “It is alarming to note that COCOBOD Management has now been taken over by pensioners who have taken advantage of being part of COCOBOD’s transition team occupying top management positions to undermine the legacy of the previous administration,” the statement said. “And, notable among these personalities are Dr. Adu Ampomah (now Ag. Deputy Chief Executive, Agronomy and Quality Control) a close friend of Mr. Afriyie Akoto who has been on pension over the past four (4) years; Dr. Franklin Amoah, who has been on pension for the past two (2) years taking up the position of Ag. Executive Director of CRIG, a position he held previously and misconducted himself and subsequently transferred.


“Dr. William Mensah (now Ag. Deputy Chief Executive (F&A), Mr. Nana Oduro (now Ag. Deputy Chief Executive, Ops), Dr. I.Y. Opoku, (now Ag. Managing Director (QCC), and Mr. Kwame Adjei, ( now Ag. Executive Director (SPD) all due for pension should their accumulated leave be taken as done to the other Directors recently under the instruction of the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Afriyie Akoto,” GAFAG enumerated. 3news.com could not independently confirm the names as attempts to reach the head of public relations, whom we were directed to speak to proved futile.


Below is the statement by GAFAG

GREATER ALLIANCE FOR ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNMENT (GAFAG)


A CABAL OF PENSINONERS MANAGING COCOBOD TO BLAME FOR THE IMPENDING TERMINATION OF APPOINTMENTS OF OVER 300 MIDDLE LEVEL STAFF…EMPLOYED SINCE 2013



We have learnt in total disbelief in this era of massive unemployment plans by the Government of Nana Addo Dankwa-Akufo Addo… led by the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr. Afriyie Akoto to sack over 300 middle level staff employed since 2013 – with staff of Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) and Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC) likely to be most affected. We wish to extend our voices of support to the growing loud condemnation of such plans as exposed by the media.


From sources, Mr. Afriyie Akoto with support from some senior figures within Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is in a hurry to take this partisan decision ahead of the inauguration of the new Board and subsequent confirmation of now new acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Joseph Aidoo. It is understood that the new Board together with the new Chief Executive Officer would be put in an uncomfortable position to overturn the decision.


It is alarming to note that COCOBOD Management has now been taken over by pensioners who have taken advantage of being part of COCOBOD’s transition team occupying top management positions to undermine the legacy of the previous administration. And, notable among these personalities are Dr. Adu Ampomah (now Ag. Deputy Chief Executive, Agronomy and Quality Control) a close friend of Mr. Afriyie Akoto who has been on pension over the past four (4) years; Dr. Franklin Amoah, who has been on pension for the past two (2) years taking up the position of Ag. Executive Director of CRIG, a position he held previously and misconducted himself and subsequently transferred. Dr. William Mensah (now Ag. Deputy Chief Executive (F&A), Mr. Nana Oduro (now Ag. Deputy Chief Executive, Ops), Dr. I.Y. Opoku, (now Ag. Managing Director (QCC), and Mr. Kwame Adjei, ( now Ag. Executive Director (SPD) all due for pension should their accumulated leave be taken as done to the other Directors recently under the instruction of the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Afriyie Akoto.


To this end, the ongoing auditing of employments made since 2013 has ended…with heads of the Human Resource Department of the Divisions expected to submit details of the audit to Management by February 27th, 2017 for a decision.


To terminate lawful appointments made since 2013 of qualified staff on grounds of so called lack of requisite qualification but with proven years of work experience on the job as well as favourable yearly appraisal is nothing but political with future implications/consequences for COCOBOD. It is more so, when such staff were duly engaged and appropriately placed at their respective Divisions. It is even more disturbing when COCOBOD has the capacity with respect to Bonso Cocoa College and Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) to re-train such staff.


If the new Management of COCOBOD goes ahead to terminate appointments of qualified middle level staff for any reason mainly employed under the previous government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) – then an era of job insecurity is ushered in and firmly established. Therefore, no recruitment/employment during this regime is safe under a new NDC Government. They can go beyond 2017 and choose and pick if they so wish to terminate lawful appointments for their own good. With these reports, staffs are genuinely living in fear and in apprehension…with key stakeholders following developments therein the new management of COCOBOD holds in their hands the power of job security of all at COCOBOD now and forever.


SIGNED. Boniface Mensah Jnr Chairman

 
 
 
 
 

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