The controversy surrounding the way and manner Ghana Cocoa Board spent the $1.8 billion Cocoa Syndicated Loan acquired in 2015, seems to be worsening as more ‘bizarre’ expenditures crop up.
It has been revealed by the Head of Corporate Communications of COCOBOD, Noah Amenyah that the Board spent $8000 on the purchase of a domain name for a website relating to the transaction.
According to the critics, a domain averagely costs between 15 to $50, and could not understand under what circumstances the COCOBOD will pay $8000 for a domain.
Lending his technical expertise on the matter, CEO of Pop Out Gh, Maximus Ametorgoh in an interview with Pulse.com.gh, said domains names can be very expensive under specific circumstances.
For instance, when a third party already purchases the domain name and in turn decides to sell it to the entity who actually needs it at a price higher than the going price on the market.
“ The most expensive domain purchased was 35.6 million dollars for insurance.com. People engage in domain hogging in anticipation of digital trends and buy domains that will be needed in the near future only to re-sell to the highest bidder.”
Away from the argument of domain hogging, Maximus Ametorgoh revealed that there are other circumstances under which a domain name will cost more, when there is no domain hogging involved. He cited websites built for high-calibre financial transactions as one of them.
“There are transactions that require that the domain names are invisible to the public, and only the IP numbers relating to the domains are made available to the stakeholders who need access to the site.”
Maximus’ explanation was in line with Noah Amenyah’s description of the purpose for which the website was built.
On the other hand, Francis Obirinkorang, another IT expert and Founder of Code Fusion, a Ghanaian software company, maintains that there is no circumstance under which a domain name should cost $8000 even for security reasons.
“ Apart from domain hogging, there is no other circumstance under which a domain name should cost $8000, not even for security reasons. The highest an SSL Certificate cost is $80.”
An SSL Certificates are small data files that activate a security padlock and the https protocol that ensure secure connections from a web server to a browser. It is typically used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins.
Meanwhile, Noah Amenyah in an interview with Pulse.com.gh said the website was not built by COCOBOD, but by the lead manager, in this case Standard Chartered Bank. According to Noah, this process is common in major financial transactions.
“ This is common with major financial transaction involving use sums of money, like major loans. Websites are created accessible to only the parties involved. Again, the site was part of the requirements by the lead manager of the facility. COCOBOD was only billed for it.”