General News Wed, 4 Sep 2019

Government probes illegal rosewood export at Tema Port

Government has commenced investigations into alleged Illegal trade and export of Rosewood from Ghana.

A seven-member committee was inaugurated by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, on August 26, 2019, to among other things, probe allegation of corruption in Rosewood trade in Ghana.

Its inauguration followed a BBC report entitled: Ban-boozled: How Corruption and Collusion Fuel Illegal Rosewood Trade in Ghana.”

On Wednesday, September 4, 2019, the Committee led by its Chairman and Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio, stormed the Tema Port on a fact-finding mission into the allegations.

The visit was also aimed at strengthening security at the ports.

As part of the fact-finding mission, members of the Committee held a closed-door meeting with officials of the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of the Forestry Commission.

The Committee has five working weeks to submit its report to Government.

Members of the Committee include Francis Manu Adabor-Chairman, Parliamentary Select Committee on Lands and Forestry; Ena. K. Blege -Representative of Ghana Customs Division, Member; William Bandor- Representative, Forest Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) – Member; Jeremiah Seidu- Representative of Civil Society Member; Adjei Yeboah- Representative of the Private Sector – Member; Joseph Osiakwan, -Representative of MLNR, Member Secretary

Over the five weeks duration, the Committee would examine all anomalies in respect of Rosewood salvage permits, transportation and export trade.

It would also probe if Rosewood is still being traded in spite of the ban imposed by the sector Minister in March 2019.

Source: dailyguidenetwork.com