Foreign Banks Submit Proposals To COCOBOD

Joseph Boahen Aidoo

THE GHANA Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) says international financial institutions have submitted their proposals for financing its 2020/2021 crop purchases.

According to COCOBOD, the banks submitted their proposals on June 12 this year.

Chief Executive of Ghana COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, who disclosed this at a ceremony on Tuesday in Accra to launch a US$600 million syndicated loan, said his outfit issued Requests for Proposals (RFP) in February this year to its international financial partners to raise US$1.3 billion to purchase cocoa in the 2020/2021 season.

He was reacting to recent reports by some media, which suggested that its international partners had refused to finance the US$1.3 billion syndicated loan for crop purchases for the 2020/2021 crop season.

The fake reports sought to create the impression that the investors had held back their funds because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

First Tranche Of $200 Million Received

Mr Aidoo announced also that his outfit had received the first tranche of US$200 million out of the US$600 million syndicated loan facility.

He expressed appreciation to the consortium of development finance institutions (DFIs) led by the African Development Bank (AfDB) for their decision to support COCOBOD’s productivity enhancement programmes (PPEs) with a US$600 million receivable backed syndicated loan.

2019/2020 Loans Paid

Mr Aidoo also announced that COCOBOD had already settled its 2019/2020 loans procured from international banks three months to the time stipulated by an agreement between it and its partners.

“Reports that COCOBOD is unable to raise its planned US$1.3billion through a syndicate of banks, due to perceived risks associated with the Covid-19 pandemic are simply not accurate. They do not reflect the current state of engagements between COCOBOD and its financial partners.”

Explaining further, the CEO said the evaluation of the proposals was held on June 18 this year by an in-house committee chaired by himself, with representatives from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana (BoG).

He added that COCOBOD, currently, was negotiating some aspects of the terms of the proposals with the foreign banks.

“Once the terms are finalized, all due processes will be followed through to their logical conclusion, up to the signing of the facility, which is expected in September 2020,” he said.

Mr Aidoo highlighted, “I want to assure all of COCOBOD’s stakeholders and partners that the process is indeed moving steadily, and we expect everything to remain on schedule.”

BY Samuel Boadi