September 24, 2020

Banks have not held back support for 2020/2021 syndicated loan – COCOBOD clarifies

The Chief Executive of Ghana COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has described as false media reports suggesting that banks have refused to finance a 1.3 billion dollar syndicated loan for the 2020/2021 crop season.

Media reports in recent times said investors have withdrawn from financing COCOBOD due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But reacting to the reports at a ceremony to launch a 600 million dollar syndicated loan, the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boanhen Aidoo, said COCOBOD has already paid the loan ahead of the time reached in the agreement.

“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”.

Mr. Boahen Aidoo reiterated that COCOBOD has paid the 2019/2020 loan facility in the month of June 2020, three months ahead of schedule, even in the time of COVID-19.

He explained that with respect to the US$1.3billion syndicated loan, COCOBOD has already issued Requests for Proposals (RFP) in February 2020 to International Banks to raise the funds for the 2020/2021 cocoa purchases.

He announced that on the 12th of June, 2020, the financial institutions including COCOBOD’s traditional Banks submitted their proposals.

“Evaluation of the proposals was held on 18th June 2020 by an in-house committee chaired by the Chief Executive with representatives from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana,” he said.

He stated that COCOBOD is currently negotiating the terms of the proposals with the Banks; which is the normal practice.

“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”.

“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,” Mr. Boahen Aidoo stressed.

Source: Business