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E.I 144 is in breach of Act 925 – Minority on declassification of Achimota Forest

The Minority in Parliament has asked President Akufo-Addo to revoke Executive Instrument 144 which seeks to declassify some portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu in a statement on Tuesday noted that Executive Instrument 144 is in breach of the provisions of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925).

He explained that per the Act, the regulation of land use and spatial planning in Ghana is not conferred on the President.

He contended that the President’s exercise of power for the issuance of the Executive Instrument 144 pursuant to section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157) is untenable as “Section 90(1) of Act 925 provides that: Where a provision of this Act is in conflict with any other enactment relating to land use, the provision of this Act shall prevail.”

“The Executive Instrument numbered 144, the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 issued “By Command of the President” and signed by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, claims to be made in exercise of the power conferred on the President by section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157). However, the current law regulating land use and spatial planning in Ghana is the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925). It is clear that Executive Instrument 144 is in breach of the provisions of Act 925,” portions of the statement read.

For this reason, the Minority wants the President “to do what is right and proper by respecting the provisions in the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925) and the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution of actually holding public lands on behalf of, and in trust for, the people of Ghana.”

“It would be in the President’s own interest and the interest of his Government simply to revoke the E.I. 144 instead of, once again, showing contempt for the laws of Ghana and the interest of the Ghanaian people,” the statement from Minority read.

The Caucus said Section 93(4) of Act 925 which relates to the change or use or re-zoning of a public space requires Parliament’s approval before such action. Thus, they believe once Parliament has not given approval to such action, government cannot declassify the Achimota Forest reserves land.

“Section 93(4) of Act 925 which relates to the change or use or re-zoning of a public space, states unequivocally that: “the change of use or re-zoning of a public space shall be subjected to approval by Parliament.

E.I 144 is in breach of Act 925 - Minority on declassification of Achimota Forest
Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor

“Therefore, besides the role of the District Spatial Planning Committee, Parliamentary approval is, therefore, a requirement for the change of use or re-zoning of the Achimota Forest Reserve area. Section 96 of Act 925 requires that the re-zoning to be done before Government can convey the land to any person.”

Background

Last week, the President signed an Executive Instrument to declassify the Achimota Forest.

The Instrument gazetted on behalf of President Akufo-Addo by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, stipulated that effective May 1, 2022, the land on which the Forest is located shall cease to be a forest reserve, pursuant to Section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157).

The cessation, per that document, was to be effective on May 1, 2022.

However, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said the government is not selling the land.

According to him, plans are rather afoot to upgrade the Achimota Forest into a world-class asset.

Addressing the press on Tuesday, May 17, the sector Minister emphasised that widespread reports about the supposed sale of the Forest are false and baseless, as government has no such plans.

“The government intends to enrich the Achimota forest, revamp it and hopefully, in the not too distant future, transform it into the likes of High Park of London and Central Park of New York, where Ghanaians can go and enjoy the beauty of nature and forest reserve as it happens in other parts of the world”.

News Politics

E.I 144 is in breach of Act 925 – Minority on declassification of Achimota Forest

The Minority in Parliament has asked President Akufo-Addo to revoke Executive Instrument 144 which seeks to declassify some portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve.

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu in a statement on Tuesday noted that Executive Instrument 144 is in breach of the provisions of the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925).

He explained that per the Act, the regulation of land use and spatial planning in Ghana is not conferred on the President.

He contended that the President’s exercise of power for the issuance of the Executive Instrument 144 pursuant to section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157) is untenable as “Section 90(1) of Act 925 provides that: Where a provision of this Act is in conflict with any other enactment relating to land use, the provision of this Act shall prevail.”

“The Executive Instrument numbered 144, the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 issued “By Command of the President” and signed by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, claims to be made in exercise of the power conferred on the President by section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157). However, the current law regulating land use and spatial planning in Ghana is the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925). It is clear that Executive Instrument 144 is in breach of the provisions of Act 925,” portions of the statement read.

For this reason, the Minority wants the President “to do what is right and proper by respecting the provisions in the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925) and the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution of actually holding public lands on behalf of, and in trust for, the people of Ghana.”

“It would be in the President’s own interest and the interest of his Government simply to revoke the E.I. 144 instead of, once again, showing contempt for the laws of Ghana and the interest of the Ghanaian people,” the statement from Minority read.

The Caucus said Section 93(4) of Act 925 which relates to the change or use or re-zoning of a public space requires Parliament’s approval before such action. Thus, they believe once Parliament has not given approval to such action, government cannot declassify the Achimota Forest reserves land.

“Section 93(4) of Act 925 which relates to the change or use or re-zoning of a public space, states unequivocally that: “the change of use or re-zoning of a public space shall be subjected to approval by Parliament.

E.I 144 is in breach of Act 925 - Minority on declassification of Achimota Forest
Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor

“Therefore, besides the role of the District Spatial Planning Committee, Parliamentary approval is, therefore, a requirement for the change of use or re-zoning of the Achimota Forest Reserve area. Section 96 of Act 925 requires that the re-zoning to be done before Government can convey the land to any person.”

Background

Last week, the President signed an Executive Instrument to declassify the Achimota Forest.

The Instrument gazetted on behalf of President Akufo-Addo by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, stipulated that effective May 1, 2022, the land on which the Forest is located shall cease to be a forest reserve, pursuant to Section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157).

The cessation, per that document, was to be effective on May 1, 2022.

However, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said the government is not selling the land.

According to him, plans are rather afoot to upgrade the Achimota Forest into a world-class asset.

Addressing the press on Tuesday, May 17, the sector Minister emphasised that widespread reports about the supposed sale of the Forest are false and baseless, as government has no such plans.

“The government intends to enrich the Achimota forest, revamp it and hopefully, in the not too distant future, transform it into the likes of High Park of London and Central Park of New York, where Ghanaians can go and enjoy the beauty of nature and forest reserve as it happens in other parts of the world”.

News

OccupyGhana demands Commission of Inquiry into return of State lands to pre-acquisition owners

Achimota forest. Photo: Edem Srem

OccupyGhana, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), has demanded a Commission of Inquiry into return of state lands to “pre-acquisition owners.”

The Organisation in a release stated, “we (OccupyGhana) think that, in accordance with Article 278 of the Constitution, the President should be satisfied, or the Council of State should advise, or Parliament should request, that a Commission of Inquiry be appointed. The people of Ghana need to be informed of ALL return of state lands to “pre-acquisition owners” since the Fourth Republican Constitution came into being on 7 January, 1993.”

They added that “there is no better way of doing this than by establishing a Commission of Inquiry appointed under Chapter 23 of the Constitution, with “the powers, rights and privileges of the High Court or a Justice of the High Court at a trial” specified in Article 279.”

OccupyGhana demands Commission of Inquiry into return of State lands to pre-acquisition owners

According to OccupyGhana, although they appreciate and commend the move by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor to set up an “independent audit on the specific issue of the acreage de-gazetted, we do not think that the “independent audit” and its stated remit will suffice.”

This, they explained, is because the issue is “a grave matter of public interest.”

“Evidence abounds on how some of these lands have ended up in the hands of government officials and their privies. It even appears that some of these officials-beneficiaries were involved in the processes leading to the alleged return of lands. In the face of such apparent conflict of interest and conflict of duty as are outlawed by Article 284 of the Constitution, we are not certain that a mere “independent audit” would suffice,” parts of the release dated May 24, 2022 indicated.

Background

Last week, the President signed an Executive Instrument to declassify the Achimota Forest. The Instrument gazetted on behalf of President Akufo-Addo by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, stipulated that effective May 1, 2022, the land on which the Forest is located shall cease to be a forest reserve, pursuant to Section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157).

The cessation, per that document, was to be effective on May 1, 2022.

However, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said the government is not selling the land.

According to him, plans are rather afoot to upgrade the Achimota Forest into a world-class asset.

Addressing the press on Tuesday, May 17, the sector Minister emphasised that widespread reports about the supposed sale of the Forest are false and baseless, as government has no such plans.

“The government intends to enrich the Achimota forest, revamp it and hopefully in the not too distant future, transform it into the likes of High Park of London and Central Park of New York, where Ghanaians can go and enjoy the beauty of nature and forest reserve as it happens in other parts of the world”.

News

Government will act on improper acquisition of public lands, regardless of how it was procured – Lands Minister

Lands Minster, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor has said government is committed to protecting all public lands from unlawful possession by individuals and state officials.

He says 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.”

Mr. Jinapor said this in a statement he issued on Tuesday, May 24 over claims that the late former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, owns lands at the Achimota Forest and Sakumono Ramsar Site.

Owing to those allegations, the Minister says he has tasked the Forestry and Lands Commissions to take immediate actions over the claims.

He says those alleged lands must be treated as invalid, saying they would not be given to the said relatives, even when they are found to have been legally acquired.

“That said, given the totality of the circumstances of the said allegations, I, as Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, have directed the Lands and Forestry Commissions to deem any ownership of lands, both in the Achimota Forest and the Sakumono Ramsar Site by the late Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie as void and are to take the appropriate actions accordingly.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the bequeathing of the aforesaid lands, if established, will not pass any interest/title to the named beneficiaries in the alleged Will. These lands, the subject matter of the alleged Will, shall remain public lands, whether or not it falls within the de-gazetted lands pursuant to E.I. 144,” the Damongo legislator said.

He added that further checks at the Lands and the Forestry Commissions show no record of ownership of lands at the Achimota Forest or the Sakumono Ramsar Site by the late Sir John.

According to him, preliminary investigations have revealed the alleged Will of Sir John is a subject matter of litigation in the courts.

CSOs protest declassification of Achimota Forest

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), including the OccupyGhana, have demanded the suspension of the operation of Executive Instrument (E.I.) 144 by government.

In a letter dated May 23, 2022, the CSO said, “We write to demand that you revoke or suspend the operation of the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 (EI 144) and the Forests (Achimota Firewood Plantation Forest Reserve) (Amendment) Instrument, 2022 (EI 154) forthwith.”

OccupyGhana added that “Instead, we demand a full public inquiry under Chapter 23 of the Constitution into the matter of the Achimota Forest Reserve.”

Background

Last week, the President signed an Executive Instrument to declassify the Achimota Forest.

The Instrument gazetted on behalf of President Akufo-Addo by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, stipulated that effective May 1, 2022, the land on which the Forest is located shall cease to be a forest reserve, pursuant to Section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157).

The cessation, per that document, was to be effective on May 1, 2022.

However, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said the government is not selling the land.

According to him, plans are rather afoot to upgrade the Achimota Forest into a world-class asset.

Addressing the press on Tuesday, May 17, the sector Minister emphasised that widespread reports about the supposed sale of the Forest are false and baseless, as government has no such plans.

“The government intends to enrich the Achimota forest, revamp it and hopefully, in the not too distant future, transform it into the likes of High Park of London and Central Park of New York, where Ghanaians can go and enjoy the beauty of nature and forest reserve as it happens in other parts of the world”.

News

Suspend de-classification of Achimota Forest Reserve – Edem Senanu

Co-Chair of Citizens Movement Against Corruption, Edem Senanu, has asked the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry to suspend the de-classification of the Achimota Forest Reserve.

The Anti-Corrpution campaigner added his voice to calls for an independent investigation.

“The whole idea of de-classifying the forest reserve should be suspended and I would probably suggest for us to have an independent investigation running simultaneously either from the end of the Special Prosecutor or CHRAJ, so that we are quite certain that we are getting all the relevant information,” he said on NewsNight on Monday.

Edem Senanu believes the investigation ought to be done to find out who else aside the allodial owners may have documentation to prove ownership of the forest reserve.

“Really speaking, the question on our minds is who else may have documentation showing that our forest reserve has actually become part of their property,” he wondered.

Suspend de-classification of Achimota Forest Reserve - Edem Senanu
Achimota Forest

His call for the de-classification of the forest reserves follows the emergence of a document believed to be the will of a former General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as ‘Sir John’.

At the time of his demise, Sir John was the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, the organisation that has direct oversight for the Achimota Forest.

The will contains four parcels of specified and unspecified acres of land in the Achimota Forest, which the late politician bequeathed to his children and nephew, “forever”.

Reacting to this, Edem Senanu said “it is not the kind of thing that one will expect that once he was entrusted responsibility for a representative of the people, you will find that they are acquiring properties in that space”.

It would be recalled that last week, government issued an Executive Instrument to declassify the Achimota Forest. The Instrument gazetted on behalf of President Akufo-Addo by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, stipulated that effective May 1, 2022, the land on which the Forest is located shall cease to be a forest reserve, pursuant to Section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157).

The cessation, per that document, was to be effective on May 1, 2022.

However, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said the government is not selling the land.

According to him, plans are rather afoot to upgrade the Achimota Forest into a world-class asset.

Addressing the press on Tuesday, May 17, the sector Minister emphasised that widespread reports about the supposed sale of the Forest are false and baseless, as government has no such plans.

“The government intends to enrich the Achimota forest, revamp it and hopefully in the not too distant future, transform it into the likes of High Park of London and Central Park of New York, where Ghanaians can go and enjoy the beauty of nature and forest reserve as it happens in other parts of the world”.

News

OccupyGhana calls for suspension of reclassification of Achimota Forest Reserve

OccupyGhana, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), has demanded the suspension of the operation of Executive Instrument (E.I) 144 by government.

In a letter dated May 23, 2022, the CSO said, “We write to demand that you revoke or suspend the operation of the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 (EI 144) and the Forests (Achimota Firewood Plantation Forest Reserve) (Amendment) Instrument, 2022 (EI 154) forthwith.”

OccupyGhana added that, “Instead, we demand a full public inquiry under Chapter 23 of the Constitution into the matter of the Achimota Forest Reserve.”

OccupyGhana calls for suspension of reclassification of Achimota Forest Reserve
Achimota forest. Photo: Edem Srem

“The purpose of the inquiries would be to reverse any illegal acts perpetrated, and improper gains made, by government officials under the guise of returning lands,” the CSO explained.

OccupyGhana also referenced a letter addressed to the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor dated May 18, 2022 in which it expressed, “vehement disagreement with the alleged plans to return substantial portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve to its former owners.”

OccupyGhana alleged that since sending that letter to the Minister, “we have had further cause to believe that this state of affairs is worse and much wider than is apparent. We are also concerned that there might have been serious instances of conflict of interest and conflict of duty involving government officials and other government actors, concerning those lands.”

OccupyGhana calls for suspension of reclassification of Achimota Forest Reserve

The group also called on government to institute an inquiry into all alleged return of government lands to former owners that have occurred under the Fourth Republic.

It would be recalled that last week, government issued an Executive Instrument to declassify the Achimota Forest. The Instrument gazetted on behalf of President Akufo-Addo by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, stipulated that effective May 1, 2022, the land on which the Forest is located shall cease to be a forest reserve, pursuant to Section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157).

The cessation, per that document, was to be effective on May 1, 2022.

However, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said the government is not selling the land.

According to him, plans are rather afoot to upgrade the Achimota Forest into a world-class asset.

Addressing the press on Tuesday, May 17, the sector Minister emphasised that widespread reports about the supposed sale of the Forest are false and baseless, as government has no such plans.

“The government intends to enrich the Achimota forest, revamp it and hopefully in the not too distant future, transform it into the likes of High Park of London and Central Park of New York, where Ghanaians can go and enjoy the beauty of nature and forest reserve as it happens in other parts of the world”.

News

Suspend de-classification of Achimota Forest Reserve – Edem Senanu

Co-Chair of Citizens Movement Against Corruption, Edem Senanu, has asked the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry to suspend the de-classification of the Achimota Forest Reserve.

The Anti-Corrpution campaigner added his voice to calls for an independent investigation.

“The whole idea of de-classifying the forest reserve should be suspended and I would probably suggest for us to have an independent investigation running simultaneously either from the end of the Special Prosecutor or CHRAJ, so that we are quite certain that we are getting all the relevant information,” he said on NewsNight on Monday.

Edem Senanu believes the investigation ought to be done to find out who else aside the allodial owners may have documentation to prove ownership of the forest reserve.

“Really speaking, the question on our minds is who else may have documentation showing that our forest reserve has actually become part of their property,” he wondered.

Suspend de-classification of Achimota Forest Reserve - Edem Senanu
Achimota Forest

His call for the de-classification of the forest reserves follows the emergence of a document believed to be the will of a former General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as ‘Sir John’.

At the time of his demise, Sir John was the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, the organisation that has direct oversight for the Achimota Forest.

The will contains four parcels of specified and unspecified acres of land in the Achimota Forest, which the late politician bequeathed to his children and nephew, “forever”.

Reacting to this, Edem Senanu said “it is not the kind of thing that one will expect that once he was entrusted responsibility for a representative of the people, you will find that they are acquiring properties in that space”.

It would be recalled that last week, government issued an Executive Instrument to declassify the Achimota Forest. The Instrument gazetted on behalf of President Akufo-Addo by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, stipulated that effective May 1, 2022, the land on which the Forest is located shall cease to be a forest reserve, pursuant to Section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157).

The cessation, per that document, was to be effective on May 1, 2022.

However, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said the government is not selling the land.

According to him, plans are rather afoot to upgrade the Achimota Forest into a world-class asset.

Addressing the press on Tuesday, May 17, the sector Minister emphasised that widespread reports about the supposed sale of the Forest are false and baseless, as government has no such plans.

“The government intends to enrich the Achimota forest, revamp it and hopefully in the not too distant future, transform it into the likes of High Park of London and Central Park of New York, where Ghanaians can go and enjoy the beauty of nature and forest reserve as it happens in other parts of the world”.

News

OccupyGhana calls for suspension of reclassification of Achimota Forest Reserve

OccupyGhana, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), has demanded the suspension of the operation of Executive Instrument (E.I) 144 by government.

In a letter dated May 23, 2022, the CSO said, “We write to demand that you revoke or suspend the operation of the Forests (Cessation of Forest Reserve) Instrument, 2022 (EI 144) and the Forests (Achimota Firewood Plantation Forest Reserve) (Amendment) Instrument, 2022 (EI 154) forthwith.”

OccupyGhana added that, “Instead, we demand a full public inquiry under Chapter 23 of the Constitution into the matter of the Achimota Forest Reserve.”

OccupyGhana calls for suspension of reclassification of Achimota Forest Reserve
Achimota forest. Photo: Edem Srem

“The purpose of the inquiries would be to reverse any illegal acts perpetrated, and improper gains made, by government officials under the guise of returning lands,” the CSO explained.

OccupyGhana also referenced a letter addressed to the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor dated May 18, 2022 in which it expressed, “vehement disagreement with the alleged plans to return substantial portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve to its former owners.”

OccupyGhana alleged that since sending that letter to the Minister, “we have had further cause to believe that this state of affairs is worse and much wider than is apparent. We are also concerned that there might have been serious instances of conflict of interest and conflict of duty involving government officials and other government actors, concerning those lands.”

OccupyGhana calls for suspension of reclassification of Achimota Forest Reserve

The group also called on government to institute an inquiry into all alleged return of government lands to former owners that have occurred under the Fourth Republic.

It would be recalled that last week, government issued an Executive Instrument to declassify the Achimota Forest. The Instrument gazetted on behalf of President Akufo-Addo by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, stipulated that effective May 1, 2022, the land on which the Forest is located shall cease to be a forest reserve, pursuant to Section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157).

The cessation, per that document, was to be effective on May 1, 2022.

However, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said the government is not selling the land.

According to him, plans are rather afoot to upgrade the Achimota Forest into a world-class asset.

Addressing the press on Tuesday, May 17, the sector Minister emphasised that widespread reports about the supposed sale of the Forest are false and baseless, as government has no such plans.

“The government intends to enrich the Achimota forest, revamp it and hopefully in the not too distant future, transform it into the likes of High Park of London and Central Park of New York, where Ghanaians can go and enjoy the beauty of nature and forest reserve as it happens in other parts of the world”.

News

Suspend de-classification of Achimota Forest Reserve – Edem Senanu

Co-Chair of Citizens Movement Against Corruption, Edem Senanu, has asked the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry to suspend the de-classification of the Achimota Forest Reserve.

The Anti-Corrpution campaigner added his voice to calls for an independent investigation.

“The whole idea of de-classifying the forest reserve should be suspended and I would probably suggest for us to have an independent investigation running simultaneously either from the end of the Special Prosecutor or CHRAJ, so that we are quite certain that we are getting all the relevant information,” he said on NewsNight on Monday.

Edem Senanu believes the investigation ought to be done to find out who else aside the allodial owners may have documentation to prove ownership of the forest reserve.

“Really speaking, the question on our minds is who else may have documentation showing that our forest reserve has actually become part of their property,” he wondered.

Suspend de-classification of Achimota Forest Reserve - Edem Senanu
Achimota Forest

His call for the de-classification of the forest reserves follows the emergence of a document believed to be the will of a former General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as ‘Sir John’.

At the time of his demise, Sir John was the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, the organisation that has direct oversight for the Achimota Forest.

The will contains four parcels of specified and unspecified acres of land in the Achimota Forest, which the late politician bequeathed to his children and nephew, “forever”.

Reacting to this, Edem Senanu said “it is not the kind of thing that one will expect that once he was entrusted responsibility for a representative of the people, you will find that they are acquiring properties in that space”.

It would be recalled that last week, government issued an Executive Instrument to declassify the Achimota Forest. The Instrument gazetted on behalf of President Akufo-Addo by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, stipulated that effective May 1, 2022, the land on which the Forest is located shall cease to be a forest reserve, pursuant to Section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157).

The cessation, per that document, was to be effective on May 1, 2022.

However, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said the government is not selling the land.

According to him, plans are rather afoot to upgrade the Achimota Forest into a world-class asset.

Addressing the press on Tuesday, May 17, the sector Minister emphasised that widespread reports about the supposed sale of the Forest are false and baseless, as government has no such plans.

“The government intends to enrich the Achimota forest, revamp it and hopefully in the not too distant future, transform it into the likes of High Park of London and Central Park of New York, where Ghanaians can go and enjoy the beauty of nature and forest reserve as it happens in other parts of the world”.

News

Civil Society Organisation kicks against declassification of Achimota Forest Reserve

A Civil Society Organisation, Mass Action Committee, has kicked against government’s decision to declassify the Achimota Forest Reserve.

According to the Organisation, the move is unacceptable and must not be allowed to materialize.

The Executive Secretary, Atik Mohammed in a signed document, described as disappointing, the issuance by the government of Executive Instruments 144 and 154 relative to the Achimota Forest Reserve.

“This singular action by government does not only offend our collective effort at environmental sustainability, but it undermines our commitment to major international instruments, protocols and agreements. One such instrument that leap readily to mind is, SDG 15.

“We are enjoined by this goal among others, to sustainably manage our forests, halt and reverse land degradation. In particular, we are expected to achieve the 0.0 target in permanent deforestation – permanent deforestation is described as “tree cover removal for urbanization, commodity production and certain types of small-scale agriculture”.

“Ghana’s performance on this indicator stood at 0.8 as of 2018 (Sachs et al 2021). This reflects how badly we are protecting our forest cover. With this state, it is expected that government’s actions toward the few urban forest reserves we have especially Accra’s, would be to achieve one end only-their protection. That is why we find the Executive Instruments obnoxious in the superlative.”

The Committee also believed that the Owoo Family do not deserve any parts of the Reserve.

According to them, the reserve is the common resource and cannot be sacrificed in part or in whole to satisfy any private claim especially when such claim is not grounded in law.

“All leases allegedly granted to that family must be revoked. We must guard and preserve the entire reserve for our own benefit and the benefit of future generations.

“Meanwhile, we reject the apparent notion loudly, albeit subtly articulated by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources that, because they find no evidence of any compensation payment to the Owoo family for the 1927 acquisition, grant of the so-called leases and the subsequent Executive Instruments have a fair grounding.”

This follows the wide circulation of an eight-page document on social media, which purported to mean that the classification of the Achimota Forest Reserve has been lifted to pave the way for a possible redevelopment for other purposes.

The Instrument gazetted on behalf of President Akufo-Addo by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, stipulated that effective May 1, 2022, the land on which the Forest is located shall cease to be a forest reserve, pursuant to Section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157).

The cessation, per that document, was to be effective on May 1, 2022.

However, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said the government is not selling the land.

According to him, plans are rather afoot to upgrade the Achimota Forest into a world-class asset.

Addressing the press on Tuesday, May 17, the sector Minister emphasised that widespread reports about the supposed sale of the Forest are false and baseless, as government has no such plans.

“The government intends to enrich the Achimota forest, revamp it and hopefully in the not too distant future, transform it into the likes of High Park of London and Central Park of New York, where Ghanaians can go and enjoy the beauty of nature and forest reserve as it happens in other parts of the world”.

News

I  respect Akufo-Addo because he is a principled man – A Plus

Political activist, Kwame Asare Obeng, popularly known as, A Plus, has stated that he grew up knowing Akufo-Addo as a principled man and still respects him for that reason.

A Plus explained that Akufo-Addo demonstrated proper leadership skills and principles as a politician who could help build Ghana.

“I grew up looking at Nana Akufo-Addo as a very principled person, as a great man. I still admire him a lot even though I’m not excited about his leadership, I have a lot of respect for him,” he stated.

A Plus added that he campaigned for candidate Akufo-Addo because of the potential he saw in him.

“… yes I campaigned for NPP to come to power, however, I’m not happy about everything that has happened.

“Those who don’t see anything wrong with Nana Akufo-Addo don’t know him, we know his capabilities and who he is and what he is capable of doing. We expect him not to be just an ordinary President, but we expected something different and that is why we are disappointed,” he reiterated.

The musician turned politician told Roselyn Felli on Prime Morning that, he constantly criticises Akufo-Addo because he knows him very well and believes he could have done better as President.

Mr. Kwame Asare Obeng added that the only thing that borders him, despite his admiration is that President Akufo-Addo failed to meet his expectation when he alleged that some of his appointees are corrupt.

A Plus revealed that he was happy with how the President initially reacted to his allegations thinking he (The President) would deal with such people as he always preached, but he later realised it was a setup to silence him.

“I didn’t do anything wrong, I only said somebody is corrupt and is not helping the government in any way, so we have to sit up and look at this and they said take him to the CID to conduct an investigation and I saw that there were lots of setups trying to silence me.

“Then other issues happened and those people are cleared, and I am disappointed everybody can be cleared except me,”  A Plus lamented.

News

Sir John trends on social media; here is what Twitter is saying

The name of late former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, a.k.a, Sir John, is trending on social media.

He is alleged to have willed portions of the Achimota Forest to individuals believed to be his relatives.

A photograph of a particular page of the will, which has been widely circulated on social media, has sparked huge public criticism of Ghanaian politicians. Some people are alleging that the reason for government declassifying part of the Forest as a reserve is to legalise such allocations.

Although the Lands Ministry has launched a probe into the claims, many Twitter users have shared their views on the matter.

Below are some reactions:

News

We’re investigating claims that late Sir John gifted portions of Achimota Forest to relatives – Lands Ministry

Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor

The Lands Ministry says it is investigating claims that former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie aka Sir John, gifted part of the Achimota Forest lands to his relatives.

“The Ministry takes a serious view of the allegations and has requested for all documents relating to the lands in question as part of an initial inquiry to ascertain the veracity of the claims,” it said in a statement.

A photograph of a portion of Mr Afriyie’s Will went viral on Sunday, May 22.

It revealed that three different lands said to be situated within the Achimota Forest have been distributed to some of the late CEO’s family members.

This sparked public criticism with some people alleging that the reason for government declassifying part of the Forest as a reserve was to make such allocations legal.

But the Lands Ministry has refuted such claims, saying “the issues that form the basis of the allegations predate the tenure of the current Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor.”

“It is important that he is seized with the full facts to enable him to take appropriate actions, if, indeed, there is any merit in the claims.”

“The Ministry assures the general public and the good people of Ghana that it will ensure that the national interest is protected at all times, especially in matters pertaining to the Achimota Forest,” the statement added.

Declassification of Achimota Forest Reserve

An eight-paged Executive Instrument (E.I.) was widely circulated on social media, which purported to mean that the classification of the Achimota Forest Reserve has been lifted to pave the way for a possible redevelopment for other purposes.

The Instrument gazetted on behalf of President Akufo-Addo by the Lands Minister, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, stipulated that effective May 1, 2022, the land on which the Forest is located shall cease to be a forest reserve, pursuant to Section 19 of the Forest Act, 1927 (CAP. 157).

The cessation, per that document, was to be effective on May 1, 2022.

However, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has said the government is not selling the land.

According to him, plans are rather afoot to upgrade the Achimota Forest into a world-class asset.

Addressing the press on Tuesday, May 17, the sector minister emphasised that widespread reports about the supposed sale of the Forest are false and baseless, as government has no such plans.

“The government intends to enrich the Achimota forest, revamp it and hopefully in the not too distant future, transform it into the likes of High Park of London and Central Park of New York, where Ghanaians can go and enjoy the beauty of nature and forest reserve as it happens in other parts of the world.”

Minority’s position

The Minority in Parliament has highlighted the environmental effects of the government’s decision to reclassify the Achimota Forest Reserve as a commercial or residential zone.

In a statement, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmakers noted that the Achimota Forest is the only existing “greenbelt” in the country’s capital.

Thus, any decision forthwith should seek to enhance the present value of the Reserve.

“Any decision by the government to reclassify it as a commercial or residential zone, even if only a part of it, will not serve the ecological value effect but, on the contrary, jeopardise the essence of the forest as a reserved area and will open it up to further abuse and non-ecological use.

“It is our belief that if any part of the Achimota Forest is released to any original owner and committed to any use either than its present use, it will set in motion a catalytic action of demands for the return of whole or parts of the about 265 Forest reserves across the country to original landowners,” the Minority said.

News

Akufo-Addo cuts sod for University of Engineering And Agricultural Science at Bunso

President Akufo-Addo, on Friday, cut a sod for the commencement of the construction of the University of Engineering and Agricultural Sciences (UEAS), at Bunso, in the Eastern Region.

The project costing $90 million is funded by the Export-Import Bank of Korea and the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) of the Republic of Korea and is expected to be completed in two years.

Upon completion, UEAS will be the second public University in the Eastern Region, with the first being the University of Environment and Sustainable Development at Somanya.

Speaking at a durbar of chiefs and people before the groundbreaking ceremony at Bunso, Nana Akufo-Addo, thanked the Korean Government for its support of the development of the country and assured them of Ghana’s determination to deepen and expand the bonds of friendship between the two countries.                                                   

Akufo-Addo cuts sod for University of Engineering And Agricultural Science at Bunso

The President said the current state of affairs in the world hinges largely on science and technology towards the management and conservation of natural resources in the form of energy, industry, agriculture, medicine and health, clean air and water, transportation and sanitation etc.                 

“So, it is obvious that to be a part of this modern world, there must be science and technology elements at all levels of the development process. This means that a country’s development depends on its ability to understand, adapt, produce and commercialise scientific and technological knowledge in ways appropriate to its culture, aspirations and level of development,” he added.                                                                   

He explained that that will help shape the fulfilment of the national dream, which was to meet basic challenges of survival like providing food, shelter, clothing, health and security for the people, and creating the wealth that would guarantee the prosperity of the present and future generations.

“The establishment of this University is also part of the Government’s response to the current national preoccupation with food security. The University will provide leadership in teaching, research and public outreach across several fields, and will help address problems that affect our food security, and enhance future competitiveness of Ghana’s industries in a sustainable manner,” he said.

The President recounted the introduction and implementation of various programmes and initiatives during the past five years all geared toward increasing access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education with the goal being to ensure a target of a 60:40 science-humanities ratio, and also educate a critical mass of the Ghanaian population for science-related jobs, which will define their future employability.

He announced that the nation’s Gross Tertiary Enrolment Ratio (GTER) which was 18.8 per cent as of 2021 had increased significantly to 20 per cent this year and he pledged to work very hard to ensure that the nation made many gains in that direction.

TVET record

Nana Akufo-Addo said “I am, thus, happy to note that this year’s enrolment of TVET students in Senior High Schools has reached record levels – forty-four thousand (44,000) students, representing a one hundred per cent increase over the 2021 enrolment figure.

The Korean Ambassador to Ghana, Lim Jung-Taek, lauded the President for the effort he was making toward the transformation of the nation’s economy through education.

He pledged to continue supporting the development of the country to improve the standard of living of the people through improvement in infrastructure development in the country.

The Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, thanked the government for the project which would go a long way to bring development to the people in the area and the rest of the country.

Background

The President during the presentation of the State of the Nation address in Parliament on 30th March 2022, hinted at plans and steps being taken to turn the Bunso campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development into a fully-fledged independent University dedicated to the study of Engineering.

It was based on the promise made to the nation that he proceeded to cut the sod for the commencement of work for the new university expected to be completed within 24-months.

News

Akufo-Addo cuts sod for University of Engineering And Agricultural Science at Bunso

President Akufo-Addo, on Friday, cut a sod for the commencement of the construction of the University of Engineering and Agricultural Sciences (UEAS), at Bunso, in the Eastern Region.

The project costing $90 million is funded by the Export-Import Bank of Korea and the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) of the Republic of Korea and is expected to be completed in two years.

Upon completion, UEAS will be the second public University in the Eastern Region, with the first being the University of Environment and Sustainable Development at Somanya.

Speaking at a durbar of chiefs and people before the groundbreaking ceremony at Bunso, Nana Akufo-Addo, thanked the Korean Government for its support of the development of the country and assured them of Ghana’s determination to deepen and expand the bonds of friendship between the two countries.                                                   

Akufo-Addo cuts sod for University of Engineering And Agricultural Science at Bunso

The President said the current state of affairs in the world hinges largely on science and technology towards the management and conservation of natural resources in the form of energy, industry, agriculture, medicine and health, clean air and water, transportation and sanitation etc.                 

“So, it is obvious that to be a part of this modern world, there must be science and technology elements at all levels of the development process. This means that a country’s development depends on its ability to understand, adapt, produce and commercialise scientific and technological knowledge in ways appropriate to its culture, aspirations and level of development,” he added.                                                                   

He explained that that will help shape the fulfilment of the national dream, which was to meet basic challenges of survival like providing food, shelter, clothing, health and security for the people, and creating the wealth that would guarantee the prosperity of the present and future generations.

“The establishment of this University is also part of the Government’s response to the current national preoccupation with food security. The University will provide leadership in teaching, research and public outreach across several fields, and will help address problems that affect our food security, and enhance future competitiveness of Ghana’s industries in a sustainable manner,” he said.

The President recounted the introduction and implementation of various programmes and initiatives during the past five years all geared toward increasing access to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education with the goal being to ensure a target of a 60:40 science-humanities ratio, and also educate a critical mass of the Ghanaian population for science-related jobs, which will define their future employability.

He announced that the nation’s Gross Tertiary Enrolment Ratio (GTER) which was 18.8 per cent as of 2021 had increased significantly to 20 per cent this year and he pledged to work very hard to ensure that the nation made many gains in that direction.

TVET record

Nana Akufo-Addo said “I am, thus, happy to note that this year’s enrolment of TVET students in Senior High Schools has reached record levels – forty-four thousand (44,000) students, representing a one hundred per cent increase over the 2021 enrolment figure.

The Korean Ambassador to Ghana, Lim Jung-Taek, lauded the President for the effort he was making toward the transformation of the nation’s economy through education.

He pledged to continue supporting the development of the country to improve the standard of living of the people through improvement in infrastructure development in the country.

The Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, thanked the government for the project which would go a long way to bring development to the people in the area and the rest of the country.

Background

The President during the presentation of the State of the Nation address in Parliament on 30th March 2022, hinted at plans and steps being taken to turn the Bunso campus of the University of Environment and Sustainable Development into a fully-fledged independent University dedicated to the study of Engineering.

It was based on the promise made to the nation that he proceeded to cut the sod for the commencement of work for the new university expected to be completed within 24-months.

News Sports

GFA at final stages to maintain quartet as technical team – Prosper Harrison Addo

The General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association, Prosper Harrison Addo, says positive talks with the entourages of Otto Addo, Chris Hughton, George Boateng and Mas-Ud Didi Dramani have been held to keep them for the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The quartet secured Ghana’s qualification to the 2022 FIFA World Cup after being in the dugouts as the interim technical team for the playoff game against Nigeria in March.

After qualification, there have been calls to main the four for the upcoming AFCON qualifiers as well as the World Cup, including a plea by Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo to the GFA president to do everything possible to keep the team together.

Speaking exclusively to JoySports, Harrison Addo revealed that talks are in the final stages to confirm the quartet as the technical team for the Black Stars ahead of the qualifiers.

“The quartet that delivered us the qualification will be kept together. So we need to work on the modalities of they staying with the team to go to the World Cup and so we have been working on it, engaging them positively and they have been positive so far” he said.

“We are in the final stages of the engagements. The processes are such that you do the engagements and then liaise with the ministry [Youth and Sports] and then you get the greenlight to move on. Be rest assured that the quartet will join us. They will plan and execute the upcoming matches as well as the four-nation tournament [in Japan].

“They will also pick up in September and November we go to the World Cup.”

The Black Stars will begin their AFCON qualifiers next month against Madagascar.

News Sports

GFA at final stages to maintain quartet as technical team – Prosper Harrison Addo

The General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association, Prosper Harrison Addo, there have been positive talks with the entourages of Otto Addo, Chris Hughton, George Boateng and Mas-Ud Didi Dramani to keep them for the upcoming 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The quartet secured Ghana’s qualification to the 2022 FIFA World Cup after being in the dugouts as the interim technical team for the playoff game against Nigeria in March.

After qualification, there have been calls to main the four for the upcoming AFCON qualifiers as well as the World Cup, including a plea by Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo to the GFA president to do everything possible to keep the team together.

Speaking exclusively to JoySports, Harrison Addo revealed that talks are in the final stages to confirm the quartet as the technical team for the Black Stars ahead of the qualifiers.

“The quartet that delivered us the qualification will be kept together. So we need to work on the modalities of they staying with the team to go to the World Cup and so we have been working on it, engaging them positively and they have been positive so far” he said.

“We are in the final stages of the engagements. The processes are such that you do the engagements and then liaise with the ministry [Youth and Sports] and then you get the greenlight to move on. Be rest assured that the quartet will join us. They will plan and execute the upcoming matches as well as the four-nation tournament [in Japan].

“They will also pick up in September and November we go to the World Cup.”

The Black Stars will begin their AFCON qualifiers next month against Madagascar.

News

Nana Frema Busia: Agyapa Again?

Agyapa Again without national Gain?

Agyapa free-wheel deal is back with a Vengeance

Recalcitrant Akufo-Addo government is without Repentance

This misery of a curious deal is not by Happenstance

Obaapa Yaa Ghana in sackcloth and ashes, take due Cognisance

The “SP” Amidu corruption risk assessment has no Resonance

How can our wailing economy still Stand?

When ‘solid gold’ is sold with “kululu” at a senseless Pittance

Prevent a shamelessly devious Agyapa End-Game with serious Resistance!

Do Join a righteous review Fight

Redeem ‘sika futuro’, Oman Adepa, from the Jersey tax- haven misguided Flight. Medaase’

News

JoyNews Tracker: Residents question when Komenda Sugar Factory will commence production

President Akufo-Addo in February, 2022 promised the Komenda Sugar Factory will start production of sugar in April, 2022.

The month of April has passed and production has not started yet. The Factory has been painted and some works are being done.

But farmers and residents of Komenda and its environs are asking about the source of the raw materials for the operations of the Factory.

On JoyNews Tracker, Richard Kwadwo Nyarko reports that authorities are considering importing raw sugar to support what the local farmers would supply for the factory to start working.

News

Time to reduce dependence on foreign aid -Akufo-Addo to African policymakers

President Nana Akufo-Addo Wednesday called on African researchers and policy makers to scale up policies that would reduce the Continent’s dependence on foreign aid.

They should pursue a path of self-respect and take actionable steps to create the enabling environment to build prosperity and development to make Africa rich and resilient, he said.

“The time to pursue a path of prosperity and self-respect for the African Continent is now,” he said at the opening of the 22nd Academy of African Business and Development (AABD) Conference, at the University of Professional Studies, Accra.

The six-day conference, on the theme: “Sustainable Development Beyond Aid: The Focus for Africa,” is being attended by researchers, business practitioners, consultants, community leaders, and policy makers.

The AABD annual conferences aim at facilitating multidisciplinary research by stimulating collaborations between Africa based researchers and professionals and their counterparts around the world, by broadening and deepening global understanding of various issues relevant to Africa’s business and development, as well as advancing solutions to some of the challenges.

President Akufo-Addo said the concept of “Africa beyond Aid” was about acknowledging development in a sustainable manner, ‘taking the bull by the horns’, and take responsibility for sustainable growth while perceiving fellow African countries as key stakeholders in development.

Africa must chart the path of self-dependence and her countries must engage with each other competitively through trade and investments and cooperate for enhanced regional and global peace and security, he said.

The Continent ought to move more towards the efficient and effective mobilisation and use of resources to grow out of the dependence on aid rather than a rejection of aid, he stressed.

“We seem to have missed out on many opportunities to make Africa the continent she deserves to be, rich and resilient. But it is not too late to right the wrongs, it is time to catch them now.”

“It is time to create the future we want for our continent, and it is time to start building that future inspired by the imperative to transform our economy from raw material producing and exporting economies to value adding industrial economies.”

The President, thus, urged the conference to ensure its deliberations helped Africa’s quest to get to the point beyond aid.

The proceedings of the meeting, he implored, should contain actionable proposals for consideration. He urged participants to also focus attention on the IMF’s unprecedented Special Drawing Rights reallocation, for which Africa shared some 30 billion dollars, much less than 100 billion dollars promised in the 2019 Paris Summit, intended to provide additional financial resources to address the vast surging inequities the pandemic has revealed.

President Akufo-Addo asked the conference to articulate policies that would help strengthen African financial institutions like the African Development Bank, AfriExim Bank, and the Africa Finance Corporation, to enable them to take over greater responsibility for the financing of Africa’s development.

They should advocate debt cancellation for African countries to provide a sound foundation
for the continent’s future progress.

The President asked the meeting to propose measures to help significantly increase Africa’s capacity for domestic revenue mobilisation to finance its development potential, create opportunities for the Continent’s vibrant and dynamic youth, and develop and deliver improved livelihoods for the people.

They should re-evaluate the role of foreign credit rating agencies, which acted as gatekeepers to global capital markets and their modus operandi, including the fixing of the so-called Africa risk premium.

Additionally, participants must examine the measures available to Africa to check the illicit outflow of capital from the Continent, which is currently estimated around 100 billion dollars per year.

The conference should also place the development of Africa at the centre of the preoccupations of the African diaspora, President Akufo-Addo said.

The conference is expected to deliberate on issues relating to over 14 thematic areas: Accounting, Finance, and Investment; International Aid, Economic Policies and Strategies; Entrepreneurship, Small Business and the Informal Sector Exporting, Internationalisation and Foreign Direct Investment; Information and Communication Technology, Digital Transformation; and COVID-19 and Business in Africa.