The Deputy Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Emmanuel Ray Ankrah, has disclosed that his outfit will commit one percent of its revenue to the cocoa pension fund.
According to him, the vow by the board is in consultation with a team of “financial experts” who have already concluded on the permutations and calculations needed.
Speaking at the inauguration of a 10-member board of trustees for the scheme, Mr Ankrah explained that the experts have also provided accurate projections which will enable COCOBOD prepare “realistic budget for the beneficiaries” going forward.
“We have made a commitment to pay one percent of every cocoa sold by registered farmers into the scheme. I wish to indicate that this one percent will be done regularly. This is a covenant we have signed with our cocoa farmers and it’s going to happen”.Mr Emmanuel Ray Ankrah
Mr Ankrah assured farmers that the funds are “available” to be transferred into the “contributors account” without any hitch.
“Through our policies and programs, we are changing the narrative of our cocoa farming and making it lucrative for farmers and actors within the value chain. It is therefore our fervent hope to consolidate all these gains achieved over the past five years under the leadership of His Excellency, the President, and even to work harder to inject more funds…”Mr Emmanuel Ray Ankrah
Pension scheme trustees charged to be independent
The board of trustees was inaugurated by Ghana COCOBOD together with National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA).
Swearing in the board, Employment Minister, Ignatius Baffuor Awuah, charged members to be independent and also put the interest of cocoa farmers first.
“It is good COCOBOD is the one that is giving birth to this particular scheme. But after its birth, COCOBOD’s responsibility ends. Everything will be decided by the board of trustees. I wouldn’t want to see COCOBOD with the long hand trying to twist things there; you should be independent”.Mr Ignatius Baffuor Awuah
Mr Awuah expressed concern over recommending individuals for a position, an occurrence he described as “very difficult” and “challenging sometimes”.
The employment minister stressed that, although, he may know a person and “may trust you” for now, he cannot “trust you forever”.
“Under certain circumstances, your behaviour may change. So, sometimes I’m asked to make recommendations, I find it difficult doing it. I’m saying so because you may have been recommended by your respective bodies to come and serve on this board. But please, let the trust they had in you before the recommendation was done stay. Don’t go and change after you have assumed your office”.Mr Ignatius Baffuor Awuah
Mr Awuah advised the new board members to exercise restraint in the dispensation of their duties and also in their bid to be “independent”. With this, he cautioned that he does not want a situation where there’s a “big tug of war” between them and the “sponsor” of the scheme.
“If anything at all, you should be able to sit down and talk and get the best”.Mr Ignatius Baffuor Awuah
The ten-member board of trustees is to facilitate the payment and financial sustainability of cocoa farmers in the country.