Ask the average Ghanaian why the infrastructure is deplorable and the answer you would usually get the answer “lack of maintenance culture”.
That is the cliché response. We flock to Europe, America and other developed countries because we seek an escape from the stagnation of a rotting infrastructure apart from the greener pasture agenda.
A facility belonging to the cocoa research institute was renovated and refurbished with modern facilities by the cocobod under President Mahama and it has become an issue for some Ghanaians all because the facility is situated in the hometown of the former President. Did the former President change ownership of the facility into his name? Did he buy it after the renovation? Has he ever used the facility after the renovation? Is the facility being used by officials of the current administration? Has he [Mr Mahama] built a house of his own in his constituency? And why was the facility situated in Bole?. The cocoa research institute was established in the 30s by the colonial administration. It was established at Tafo in the Eastern Region to investigate problems of disease and pest which had effected cocoa production in the Eastern Region. In 1944, it became West African Cocoa Research Institute ( WACRI) with a substation in Ibadan etc. Nkrumah dissolved WACRI and established the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG). The institute in collaboration with council for scientific and industrial research, expanded its operations to include research into cashew nut production and other indigenous and introduced trees that produced fats similar to cocoa butter. The CEO of cocoa board and his propagandists should find out what President Kufour wanted to do with the facility in 2002 when CRIG won the privilege of being the research wing of his government’s National Cashew Development Project. He should tell Ghanaians why funds released to the Kufour government for the renovation of the headquarters and the substations and training of research officers were diverted into other sectors. Is the current CEO of cocobod aware of the role Mr E.A Mahama played in the 60s to get the facility in the region? Can the CEO furnish us with the names of the committee of experts Nkrumah established in 1965 to identify by products that could be produced from cocoa. Yes, that dream of establishing the facility at the place was actualised under Acheampong but the CEO should read recommendations made the Dr Adomako (a biochemist) committee. The facilities at Tafo, Bunso, Afosu were neglected and left to decay by the Africa/Busia administrations. Acheampong established the Ministry of Cocoa affairs to coordinate activities of the Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board and its subsidiaries including the Cocoa research institutes. Acheampong also established the Eastern Region Cocoa Rehabilitation project at Suhum and the Ashanti Cocoa Rehabilitation project in Kumasi. The ministry was also charged with the development of coffee , Shea nuts, copra and banana industry. The neglect for public property within the bounty of natural resources only betrays an extreme case of paranoia and parochialism within a profoundly religious setting. That the CEO of the cocobod thinks we must neglect those things which we all enjoy together for personal and other reasons is not only politically senseless, but ultimately self destructive. No system, can survive by constantly depleting itself without a self sustenance programme.
In order to Knowledge the country’s debt to cocoa, the Mahama- administration took various steps, all aimed at promoting the vital sector of the economy including renovation and rehabilitation of all the research centres, free fertilizer distribution, deplored extension officers and research officers across all the cocoa growing areas. Perhaps the most significant step the administration took in respect of the producer price of cocoa was that the government raised the producer price of cocoa more than three times within two years. All new farms were planted with improved high yielding cocoa hybrids and thousands of farmers benefited from the project. These are the issues the current CEO of cocobod and his team should focus on. Farmers protesting against certain policies introduced by the new administration and how they are affecting their operations and the CEO’s response is the senseless allegation he levelled against the former President. The former administration rehabilitated many state facilities including the Adome bridge, schools etc. Did the administration embark on these rehabilitation works to enable the former President enjoy his comfort? We downplay the importance of research officers and other experts so will spend $2.5 million on an already existing digital address system, spend millions of dollars just to launch a project and logos instead of targeting areas and projects relevant to the economy and general life improvement
Citifm correspondent in the northern region who was dispatched to Bole to check the facts, revealed that managers at the facility (Bole CRIG) told him President Mahama has never used or slept in the facility after the renovation as being alleged by propagandists of the Akufo-Addo government. According to citi’s reporter, renovation work at the place is not yet complete. It was also revealed that some party officials of the Npp including the northern regional chairman of the Npp Mr Bugri Naabu have started using the facility .