Business News of Tuesday, 5 December 2017
The Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak has alleged that the Lands Ministry and the Forestry Commission has granted permits to companies to cut timber in some forest reserves.
According to him, the three regions of the North have been hard hit by the illegal cutting of timber, despite the area being zoned as forest reserves.
“The three regions in the North have been designated a protected zone. The forestry commission and the Ministry for lands and natural resources are not expected and have not been known to be granting permits for the usual logging that we know that happens in other parts of country. But what we have noticed is that in the last few years continuing till date, there has been a lot illegal logging going on in the part of the country that is designated a protected zone” he said.
He adds that “Now my investigations have indicated that the forestry commission and the ministry have issued permits to companies economically viable trees in areas needed to be salvaged the forestry commission and the ministry still grant salvage permits to companies to supposedly salvage rosewood logs on the floor of the forest in the three regions of the North”.
Timber export, which hitherto contributed to 5 percent of export earnings to GDP, now contributes just 2 percent to GDP.
The development has also resulted in a lot of timber companies folding up. With the major reasons attributed largely to the unavailability of raw materials and high utility cost.
Dr Clement Apaak insists that the forestry commission is to be blamed for the dwindling timber sector.
In the fifth of Citi Business News’ series, Left to die, it emerged that the fortunes of Ghana’s timber industry continue to wane with each passing month in the absence of a clear plan to boost activities in the sector.
This has also led to the collapse of majority of businesses in the once vibrant industry.