Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has said criticisms against former Cocobod CEO Dr Stephen Opuni for taking a gross salary of GHS75,000 during his tenure of office may be premature.
According to him, the salary must first be probed to ascertain whether Dr Opuni deserved it or not before such criticisms are hurled at him.
“Corruption is high in the country because employers cheat employees in Ghana, so my point is that the fat salary given to someone should not be an issue. For now, let’s investigate those issues to find out if the nation benefited from them or not. Then we can also find out if the salary was realistic or not, we should not jump to conclusions without proper investigations,” Mr Kufuor told Accra-based Top FM on Wednesday, 29 March.
This follows comments by the new chairman of the board of Cocobod, Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyeman that the amount was “unthinkable”.
“For me, it is absolutely unthinkable that the gross salary of the Chief Executive Officer should be in the neighbourhood of GHS 70,000 to GHS 75,000 a month, and the net is about GHS 55, 000 to GHS 57,000 a month. If you even discount this by 50 percent, it would still be higher than anybody under Article 71 of the constitution,” he told Accra-based Citi FM.
Mr Owusu-Agyeman bemoaned that even after a cut in salaries of the top management of COCOBOD, they will still earn more than the highest paid Article 71 office holder.
He wondered why cocoa farmers were not benefitting from the proceeds of their work but managers were rather enriching themselves with the sweat of the farmers.
Mr Owusu-Agyeman has, therefore, hinted at a possible slash of the amount by half.