COCOBOD has flatly denied allegations of corruption and nepotism in the use of sole sourcing to procure Transform Akate Insecticides from Agri-Plus Horizon Farm Limited.
A document making rounds in mainstream and social media, purported to have emanated from the Financial Intelligence Center, Ghana alleged that COCOBOD intentionally sole sourced the contract for the insecticide from Agri-Plus Horizon because the CEO of the company, Joseph Seth Aidoo Junior is related to the COCOBOD CEO, Joseph Boahen Aidoo.
But a statement dated Monday, November 17, 2020, signed by the Head of Public Affairs at COCOBOD, Fiifi Boafo explained that the particular insecticide needed for a specific purpose could only be obtained from Agri-Plus because they are the only company that has Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) certification for the insecticide.
The statement also explained that COCOBOD duly sought clearance from the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) before using the sole sourcing method to procure the said insecticide.
It also debunked the attempt to link the CEO’s of COCOBOD and Agri-Plus because of their last names, saying that Joseph Seth Aidoo Junior is not related to Joseph Boahen Aidoo in any way.
Below is the full statement from COCOBOD explaining the processes that go into acquiring particular insecticides for specific purposes at any point in time.
RE: ALLEGATIONS OF NEPOTISM, CORRUPTION AND MONEY LAUNDERING AT
GHANA COCOA BOARD
For immediate release – 17/11/2020 Our attention has been drawn to a document circulating on several online and social media platforms purported to emanate from the Financial Intelligence Centre, Ghana, which alleges wrong doing by COCOBOD awarding a contract for the procurement of Transform Akate Insecticide from Agri-Plus Horizon Farm Limited through the sole sourcing method.
The document further alleges that there is suspicion that the decision by COCOBOD to sole source the contract to Agri-Plus may have been founded on the grounds of nepotism and/or trade based money laundering.
We wish to state that the decision to sole source insecticides and other chemicals for COCOBOD operations is based on COCOBOD’s need for specific purposes. COCOBOD only
procures insecticides or chemicals that have been tested and certified by the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG).
It should therefore be noted that different insecticides have different active ingredients (the killing agent), different levels of concentration of active ingredients, different rates of applications per hectare of cocoa farm and different manufacturing sources.
Some products have systemic effect while others take effect on contact with the insect. Some products are also formulated as cocktails and have both systemic and contact properties combined.
A company that holds the CRIG certificate for a particular product has proprietary right in the product and consequently COCOBOD can procure the product from only that company.
At the beginning of each crop season COCOBOD decides on the various insecticide and chemicals to be procured for the season based on the projected threats to the crop for that year. The insecticide application is varied periodically to reduce the chances of the insects developing resistance to a particular insecticide.
In the case of Transform Akate Insecticide mentioned in the document, Agri-Plus Horizon Farms Limited is the company that holds the CRIG certificate for the product. Approval was, therefore, sought from the Public Procurement Authority to procure the product amongst others through the sole sourcing method for COCOBOD’s operations.
We wish to state categorically that the suspicion that the decision by COCOBOD to sole source the contract to Agri-Plus may have been founded on grounds of nepotism is completely baseless and untrue.
The Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board, Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo is not in any way related to Joseph Seth Aidoo Junior mentioned in the document in relation to Agri-Plus Limited. The said Joseph Seth Aidoo Junior is neither a son of Hon Joseph Boahen Aidoo nor are they related in any way.
We therefore urge the general public not to give the allegations contained in the said document any weight.
HEAD OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS