Nii Osa Mills Calls On Forestry Commission

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Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in chat with and official of the Commission
Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in chat with and official of the Commission

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Nii Osa Mills, has pledged his unflinching support to help the Forestry Commission to raise the necessary funding to sustain old plantations and to develop new ones.

Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in chat with and official of the Commission
Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in chat with and official of the Commission

Speaking during his maiden visit to the offices of the Commission to familiarize with their operations, Nii Osa Mills called on officials of the Commission to desist from engaging in negative practices that would undermine their work.

Citing the recent arrest of containers of Rosewood at the Tema Port, the Minister said it was possible forestry officials gave out the licenses knowing well there was a ban on exports in place.

He said such illegal activities that aid the indiscriminate felling of wood would not be tolerated by the ministry and asked the staff to act professionally when dealing with merchants in the timber sector.

The minister suggested that officials of the Commission, mandated to enforce, monitor, and ensure compliance, must be made to swear an oath when employed, to officially bond them on their duties.

Nii Osa said the ministry was ready to help in getting legislation to enhance and facilitate the work of the officials.

He urged the Commission to adopt measures that would help generate enough revenue to enable them to implement scheduled programmes, instead of depending on government subventions.

?You have to explore all avenues to generate enough resources to enable you to fulfil your mandate as a Commission, instead of depending on government subventions,? he said.

On the Forestry Commission Board, Nii Osa gave the assurance that he would help to have a board inaugurated as soon as possible.

The Chief Executive of the Commission, Mr. Samuel Afari-Dartey, said to prevent illegal felling of trees, the Commission is adopting a wood tracking system to drastically reduce illegal timber.

He said the system is linked directly to the financial system and would limit the possibility of manipulation.

Mr Dartey commended the minister for the visit and appealed for the release of funds to enhance operations and work on planned projects.

GNA

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