The Member of Parliament for Builsa South Dr. Clement Apaak has asked the government to reconsider its decision to use seized rosewood for the construction of the National Cathedral.
The legislator who has been campaigning against illegal rosewood trade activities says it would be prudent to use the seized rosewood to make furniture for schools and pupils without desks.
The government has hinted at plans in using all seized rosewood for the construction of the National Cathedral.
According to the Lands and Natural Resources Minister Samuel Abdulai Jinapor: “The government is making the decision to take all rosewood confiscated toward the construction of the National Cathedral”.
“So, in addition to the ban on the export, all rosewood confiscated should and will be donated to the National Cathedral.”
“When the National Cathedral turns out to have enough rosewood, we will take other measures either to donate it to other public institutions and if we are minded to have a public auction for domestic use, rest assured it will be done with a sense of integrity,” Mr. Jinapor said.
The minister’s comments came days Dr. Clement Apaak, asked the government, to expedite action in probing the circumstances leading to the confiscation of the five containers of rosewoods at the Tema.
Dr. Apaak responding to what the Minister said noted that the seized rosewood should rather be used for furniture for the schools without desks.
To him, that’s the most prudent and efficient way to use the rosewood.
“Many students from KG to SHS have no furniture to sit on, the wood should be used to make furniture for them, especially the source areas of the rosewood.”
He has also reiterated the need for the probe into the illegal rosewood activity to be fast-tracked.
He asserted that there is a cartel responsible for these illegal activities which are destroying our forests and threatening our environment.
He had earlier issued a statement stating that “the five (5) containers impounded at the Tema port provide a good opportunity for new minister Samuel Abu Jinapor to show the world that he is not just a tough-talking minister but has the capacity to bring perpetrators of this illegal act to book,” adding: “This incident is a true test of whether he will become a lame-duck accomplice of the illegal rosewood business like his predecessors, or he will actually put the interest of his constituents in Damongo and other parts of the country, including Builsa South, ahead of the interest of the cartel and stop the illegal trade.
“What is clear is that the cartel as he acknowledged which is responsible for this, is testing him. If he allows .them to win this test and doesn’t take any action against them, it will open the flood gates for other such illegal activities under his watch. He should be decisive and deal with those involved, “no matter whose ox is gored,” and jail those involved in this illegal activity”.
Dr Apaak also stated that “the lives of the team at the Energy Commission that first detected this illegal act are currently under threat from the cartel as strange men have been going to the port trying to fish them out. The police must act now to protect the lives of these dedicated public servants so they are not harmed by this criminal syndicate”.