The Lands and Natural Resources Ministry has indicated it may commission an independent audit of the specific portions of lands in the Achimota Forest reserve which were declassified recently.
This follows the sector minister’s clarification that over 361 acres of the land are peripherals of the Achimota forest, which government is returning to its custodial owners.
This also comes on the back of lands in Achimota Forest and Ramsar Site in Sakumono purported to belong to the former Forestry Commission CEO, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie.
In a statement to explain the rationale for declassifying the forest reserve and ceding 361 acres of its lands to the Owoo family, the Ministry said the independent audit is in the public interest and also to bring out the full facts of the matter.
“The Ministry intends to initiate a process of an independent audit on the specific issue of the acreage degazetted [forest reserve] and will act accordingly in the public interest, should that become necessary,” the document said.
It said it is committed to protecting and effectively managing the country’s lands and natural resources and will ensure that any action it takes with regard to these resources is guided by law.
“The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is committed to the protection, proper management and utilisation of the lands and natural resources of our country. Government will act on any improper acquisition of public lands, regardless of how it was procured, whether now or in the past, and the Achimota Forest Lands will not be an exception. The Ministry wishes to reiterate that the Achimota Forest is an integral part of Government’s plan for the protection of our forest cover and our agenda for aggressive afforestation and reforestation. As always, Government will continue to deal with the matters relating to the Forest with the highest standards of transparency and integrity and act with utmost good faith and in the public interest,” the ministry added.Read Full Story