…hails revamping of WAMCO

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed his delight at the revamping and operations of the West African Mills Company Limited (WAMCO).

WAMCO is a cocoa processing factory in Takoradi in the Western Region that was closed down in 2014 due to lack of raw materials and mismanagement.

The President on his two-day tour of the region visited the company in the company of the Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, and the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Mr Boahen Aidoo and other dignitaries said “the campaign promise I made to the people of Takoradi has been fulfilled”.

He noted that because the cocoa industry was becoming more and more buoyant again under the leadership of Mr Aidoo, a unit like WAMCO has sprang up again.

He said WAMCO once made and would make again an important contribution to the development of the country’s economy by the provision of jobs to the youth.

He charged the management to maintain the momentum of growth of the company and never allow it to retrogress again.

The CEO of WAMCO, Mr Boahen Aidoo told the President and his entourage that WAMCO could not operate because there were no raw materials for the factory so all the workers were sent home leaving a skeletal staff to take care of sensitive areas.

Mr Aidoo disclosed that management was preparing workers’ arrears to pay them for the long outstanding payment adding, “WAMCO now relies on local cocoa beans and is operating very well.”

The regional minister, Mr Mensah said WAMCO was totally down before the 2016 elections but was now operating at full capacity.

WAMCO was delinked from Cocoa Purchasing Company (CPC) on November 25, 1992 as a joint venture private company between the Government of Ghana (COCOBOD)-40 per cent share and Walter Schroeder GmbH of Germany-60 per cent share.

The company has three plants which at full capacity can process 55,000 tons of cocoa beans.

For the period 2013-2016, the company was shut down for its inability to acquire raw cocoa beans for processing culminating from gross mismanagement including misappropriation and misapplication and embezzlement of funds. Total number of employees sent home stood at 254.

Upon assumption of office by current government in 2017, the current management led by the CEO Mr Boahen Aidoo visited the factory to apprise itself of the condition of the company. Subsequently, a technical team was put together to conduct technical, structural and financial audit of the company and thereafter a committee was constituted to oversee the reactivation of the company.

An initial 150 tons of cocoa beans was supplied WAMCO in September 2017. In 2017-2018 season (October 2017-September 2018), a total of 4,462 tonnes of cocoa beans were supplied to the company and for the period October 2018-May 2019 a total of 5,540 tonnes of cocoa has been supplied to WAMCO.

Since the activation of the company which was making huge losses in the past, it has now made a profit of approximately US$6.5million with a total of 170 employees.

Photo 3403 : President Akufo-Addo (with mic) speaking at WAMCO.

Photo 340:  Mr Frank Bednar (in dark suit) explaining a point to President Akufo-Addo with the CEO of COCOBOD, Mr Boahen Aidoo (in ash suit) standing by. In front are products of WAMCO

FROM PETER GBAMBILA, TAKORADI

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