Cocoa Traders Association gets new executives in Ondo

The National President of Cocoa Association of Nigeria, Mr. Muftau Abolarinwa, has called on members of the Ondo State Chapter of Cocoa Traders Association of Nigeria to ensure the sale of only good quality cocoa beans across the state.

 He noted that there have been incidences of very poor quality beans sold to merchants and processors in the past few years, leading to losses amounting to billions of naira per annum.

Abolarinwa spoke during the swearing-in ceremony of newly elected officials of the Association in Akure, the Ondo State capital, led by Mr. Michael Adebayo.

While acknowledging the critical role that members of the Association, made up of cocoa licensed buying agents, can play in determining cocoa quality,  Abolarinwa charged the traders to rally round the new executive to ensure good cocoa bean quality, integrity and transparency at their level.

He called on Mr. Adebayo to rally all the traders across the state to form a formidable vanguard against poor quality and smuggling of cocoa beans.

Also speaking at the occasion, conveners of the meeting, Alhaji Taiwo Ayoade and Mr. Salaam Owofemi, urged the traders to maintain  the cooperation that made the election possible after more than two decades.

Ayoade stated that unless there is unity of purpose among the traders, the entire cocoa value will suffer significant losses and many companies will be forced to close down.

On his part, Owofemi called on the newly elected executive committee to ensure that all active cocoa buyers are carried along in all activities of the association. He stated that members of the association should not abandon the executive council but given the needed support to ensure success.

In his response, the newly elected chairman, Mr. Michael Adebayo, pledged the cooperation of LBAs to the eradication of poor cocoa quality in the state.

He called on all traders across the state to harken to the voice of reason and abandon shady deals and unwholesome practices. Adebayo charged all members to report cases of fraud in any form to the association, with a promise that justice will be served impartially.

Elected officials who took the Oath of Office are Michael Adebayo (Chairman), Lawal Adefemi (Vice Chairman), Emmanuel Ayodele (General Secretary), and Mufutau Alasan (Assistant Secretary) and Edward Akinjo (Treasurer).  Others are Olumuyiwa Ojowuro (Financial Secretary), Lawrence Olofinusi (Chief Whip) and Benson Efena (PRO). Liaison officers were also elected from each of the nine zones.

The meeting had in attendance various stakeholders from the nine zones of the Association, chairman of Cocoa Stakeholders Committee, Dr. Olusegun Awolumate and some elders in the cocoa value chain.