Business News of Wednesday, 22 June 2016
The Ghana COCOBOD has concluded the initial stages of its road show in London to seek a 2 billion dollars syndicated loan facility for the purchase of cocoa beans for the 2016/17 crop season.
The twenty-three syndicated banks which attended the road show will be required to raise the amount requested by COCOBOD by September this year.
Parliament early this month approved the syndicated loan for COCOBOD to finance the purchase of cocoa beans for the 2016/17 crop season. However, payback of the loan centers on the ability of COCOBOD to purchase 900,000 metric tonnes of cocoa within the period.
The Public Affairs Manager for COCOBOD, Noah Amenyah who confirmed the processes so far, further explained to Citi Business News that the next stage will see COCOBOD going through the signing ceremony in September.
“We had over 23 banks attending. They have listened to COCOBOD and its ability to meet the obligations from the loan this year 2016/17 crop year. They have taken the presentation; they are now going to put together a group of banks to be raising the monies that we have requested,” he stated.
“Now that the banks have met COCOBOD face to face and have listened to COCOBOD, the banks now will put themselves together to raise the amount that we have requested,” Mr. Amenyah added. He further explained, “When they finish raising the amount, there will be some more discussions between the banks and COCOBOD as they gather the money. As soon as they are ready by September, we will go through the signing ceremony.”
COCOBOD spends $20,000 on renting venue COCOBOD made a lot of headlines when news broke early this month that they had spent $20, 000 out of the $1.8 billion syndicated loan for the 2015/2016 crop season, for the renting of a venue for a signing ceremony. Members of the Minority in Parliament then raised concerns about the utilization of the syndicated loan proceeds for the 2015/2016 crop season. An amount of $169,000 was reported to have been spent as legal fees among other expenditure.
The loan attracted an interest of $4.1 million between October 2015 and January 2016. The Member of Parliament for Kwadaso and Minority Spokesperson on Cocoa Affairs, Dr. Afriyie Osei Akoto at the time said, “The monies requested by COCOBOD for 2016, and that which was spent in 2015, are too high considering that several Ghanaian farmers still do not have access to inputs such as fertilizers which are smuggled to other African countries.”
Dr. Akoto, therefore, intimated, “There was the need for the country to ensure value for money in approving such a huge budget for COCOBOD, which is far higher than the entire budget for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture