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Business News of Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Source: ghanaiantimes.com.gh

Land ministry vows to clamp down on illegal activities in sector

Benito Owusu-Bio, Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Benito Owusu-Bio, Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources

The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio, has declared zero tolerance for illegal logging in the Ahafo Region, to among others, prevent the wanton destruction of the forest cover in the area.

He said, although there was no mining taking place in the region’s forest reserves, illegal logging and lumbering were prevalent and needed to be halted immediately.

Speaking to staff of the Forestry Commission last Thursday, in Goaso in the Ahafo Region, he asked them not to connive with illegal operators in order to restore and enrich the forest cover.

“We know that you know the chainsaw operators in the communities, please advise them,” he cautioned.

The Deputy Minister also called on the staff of the Forestry Services Division (FSD), the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) and the Wildlife Division to work together and ensure that the auction of confiscated wood did not go back to those involved in the illegal act, stressing that “you cannot benefit from your own illegalities.”

He further charged them to put in place adequate measures to halt the practice.

The Deputy Minister’s visit is a follow-up to the recent official tour of the Sector Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor to the Ahafo Region where he addressed some concerns of the chiefs in the area including the auctioning of confiscated wood.

Mr Owusu-Bio used the occasion to inform staff of the 2022 Green Ghana Day event and urged them to prepare for the national exercise whiles commending them for their tireless efforts last year in achieving their targets.

The Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister also paid a courtesy call on the Ahafo Regional Minister, to among others, seek his support and collaboration with the Forestry staff in the region and for the 2022 Green Ghana initiative.

“There is urgent need for the Regional Forestry team to work with you as the Regional Minister and Head of Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to help reduce the rate of deforestation and forest degradation in the region”.

In his response, the Regional Minister, George Boakye, commended the forestry staff for their collaboration so far and called for increased commitment to curb the menace.

“This year, the Ahafo Regional Coordinating Council will support the Forestry Commission in the region to fully implement and achieve its 2022 Green Ghana target of 1.2million seedlings,” he emphasized.

In a remark, the CEO of the Forestry Commission, Mr John Allotey underscored the importance of the Ahafo Region towards restoring the country’s forest cover and appealed to the Regional Minister to help combat and improve upon the Forestry situation in the region, adding that his outfit is mobilizing early to provide funds and support the various districts.