Following the recent publication by the BBC on a report published by the ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATION AGENCY (EIA) entitled “BAN-BOOZLED: HOW CORRUPTION AND COLLUSION FUEL ILLEGAL ROSEWOOD TRADE IN GHANA”, it has become necessary to constitute a Committee to investigate these allegations and take appropriate actions to forestall any such occurrence. This publication has gone viral on the media landscape at both national and global level with some international organizations and partners such as CITES beginning to question the integrity of Ghana’s timber export trade.
In view of this, a Seven-member Committee has been constituted to carry out thorough investigation of the issues raised in the publication to enable us to take remedial actions.
Membership of the Committee
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The membership of the Committee is as follows:
- Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio – Deputy Minister, Chairman of the Committee
- Mr. Francis Manu Adabor -Chairman, Parliamentary Select Committee on Lands and Forestry
- Mr. Ena. K. Blege -Representative of Ghana Customs Division, Member
- Mr. William Bandor – Representative, Forest Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG) – Member
- Mr. Jeremiah Seidu -Representative of Civil Society Member
Hon. Adjei Yeboah – Representative of the Private Sector – Member
- Mr. Joseph osiakwan, -Representative of MLNR, Member Secretary
Specific Task for the Committee
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The specific tasks of the Committee are as follows:
- Investigate the allegations of corruption as reported in the Publication by EIA;
- Examine all anomalies in respect of Rosewood salvage permits, transportation and export trade;
- Investigate if Rosewood is still being traded in spite of the ban imposed by myself in March 2019;
- Make the necessary recommendations to the Hon. Minister for appropriate actions to be taken.
The Committee is expected to carry out these tasks and report back within five (5) weeks.
In carrying out these tasks, you will be expected to speak to all relevant stakeholders along the Rosewood value-chain to identify the various issues and challenges that exist. You will also have to invite all officers mentioned in the report for interrogation to determine the truth or otherwise of the allegations.
I wish to assure the Committee that the necessary logistical support will be provided by the Ministry and the Forestry Commission to facilitate your work.
In conclusion, Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to take this opportunity to once again reiterate that the Ban on Rosewood is still in force and anyone who violates this will face the rigors of the laws of this country without any compromises. It is our collective responsibility as citizens to ensure that we protect the resources of this country for the benefit of current and future generations
I thank all the Committee Members for readily accepting to serve on this committee within a short notice. We will be looking forward to receiving a comprehensive report from you as scheduled.
On this note I have the pleasure and honour to declare the Seven-member Committee to investigate the allegation of corruption in Rosewood Trade in Ghana duly inaugurated. Thank you and May God Bless us all.