The Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo has refuted claims that former President John Mahama set up a fund for cocoa farmers’ pension scheme.
Speaking at a cocoa farmers conference in the Ahafo Region, Asunafo South MP, Eric Opoku, indicated Mr. Mahama set aside GHC 28.9 million as seed money for their pension scheme for which the Akufo-Addo government claims credit.
”The Mahama administration left Ghc28.9 million as seed money for a cocoa farmer pension scheme before leaving office, but the current administration has misappropriated the money and continues to claim to have introduced the scheme,” he told the farmers.
But in an interview with host Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo” show, the COCOBOD Chief Executive says there is no record of the fund, adding the pension scheme was initiated in 1984 by the late Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings but wasn’t implemented until President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assumed office.
He stated emphatically that the scheme was dormant for 35 years till the incumbent government started to roll it out.
“We all know it is President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who launched the scheme in 2020…the scheme had been neglected for 35 years…Rawlings is the person who initiated it and this is one specific thing he did to help the farmers. So, he made it a law in 1984 and the pension should be implemented in 1985 but it wasn’t effected until 2020”, he disclosed.
He revealed that COCOBOD has commenced enrolment into the scheme, however, it is optional to the farmers.
“It is voluntary and contributory…So, some farmer can decide I don’t want the pension scheme.”