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General News of Monday, 13 May 2019

Source: Starr FM

Chinese Rosewood smuggling firm shut down in Damongo

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Savanna regional minister Salifu Adam Braimah, on Friday, May 10, ordered the shutdown a Chinese rosewood company in the capital, Damongo.

The closure of BrivyWelss firm, which has been operating in the area for many years, followed the arrest of a Chinese woman in Tamale, Helen Huang who was transporting several containers of rosewood to Tema.

The company was mainly into cutting, processing and smuggling rosewoods from the area.

The minister then formed a nine-member committee to resolve the menace of rosewood logging which has threatened the sustainability of the environment, farming, food security and communal harmony.

The committee was to be chaired Mr. Samuel Tika, the deputy regional minister with Hon. Sulemana Yusuf, MP for Bole -Bamboi constituency, a member.

Other members of the committee are; Osman Mohammed Amin (Lawyer and Secretary), Alhaji Sadique Bakari Nyare, and Mr Dramani Issahaku, Hon. Sammy Wusah, Former MP Damongo constituency, Hon. Kipo Suyenzi, Former DCE, Sawla Tuna Kalba District, Habibu Muftawu, (Media Relation) and
Chief Kpengrewura Karimu.

Speaking to the media, the minister outlined the mandate of the committee.

He said the committee was to look into how previous efforts by past authorities failed to eliminate the logging activity and also investigate the roles played by private and government individuals, groups, institutions in aiding and abetting the situation, and make recommendations to the Regional Coordinating Council.

The minister expressed disappointment and surprise at how the Chinese firm was able to establish the illegal factory and operated it for many years at the blindside of stakeholders.

Shocked at the number of fresh rosewood logs found at the company site, the minister said it was troubling to see residents of that community languishing in poverty while others were making huge sums of money and at the same time making the environment highly unfriendly.

Salifu Adam Braimah admitted the task ahead would be challenging but urged members to be steadfast as he promised his unflinching commitment.

A member of the committee, Alhaji Bakari Sadique Nyare, a former chairman of Lands commission thanked the minister for taking such a bold step, and foresight.

He pleaded with traditional authorities in the region to collaborate and cooperate with the committee and it’s members to ensure smooth delivery of its mandate.

Alhaji Nyare further assured the minister on behalf of the committee, that they will do everything possible to address illegal logging of the endangered rosewood trees in the area.

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