COCOBOD secures US$1.3 billion for 2017/18 crop season

The Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) has secured an amount of US$1.3 billion for the purchase of cocoa beans for the 2017/2018 crop season. 

This follows the approval of a syndicated loan by Parliament on Wednesday before adjourning sine die.

The facility is being provided by a syndicate of banks, comprising Natixis, Standard Bank of South Africa Ltd, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Sumitomo Mitstui Banking Corporation and Ghana International Bank as the initial mandated lead arranger.

The facility, which is an equivalent of GH¢5.850 billion cedis would be used for the payment of produce from farmers, buyers margins, internal marketing operations, farmers services among others.

 It is also expected to help increase cocoa production to more than one million tonnes per annum within the next four years.

Dr Mark Asibey-Yeboah, Chairman of the Finance Committee and MP for New Juaben South, who moved the motion for the adoption of the committee’s report on the facility, said the $ 1.3 billion trade finance facility was to assist COCOBOD to raise funds to purchase cocoa beans for farmers through the licensed buying companies.

He said the facility was to be exempted from the payment of Stamp Duty amounting to the tune of 6.5 million dollars.

He reminded members of section 32 (6) of the Stamp Duty Act 2005 (Act 689), which required loan documents to be stamped at 0.5 per cent of the loan amount , in order to ensure that the trade finance facility was used solely for the purchase of cocoa beans and related expenses.

The House in another development approved a 48.85 million dollars concessionary loan between the government of the Republic of Ghana and the Africa Development Fund for to finance the Greater Accra Sustainable Sanitation and Livelihood Improvement Project (GASSLIP).

The facility has a concessionary component of 35.97 per cent, slightly above the government concessionary requirement of 35 per cent.

The loan has an interest rate of 1% per annum, a service charge of 0.75% per annum, a commitment charge of 0.5% per annum, a grace period of five years, repayment period of 25 years and a 30 year maturity period.

The GASSLIP aims to increase access to improve sustainable and climate resilient Sanitation and hygiene with improved Livelihood for the urban poor and strengthen public and private sector capacity to better deliver and manage sanitation infrastructure.

Source: ISD (Gilbert Ankrah)