Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, on Friday ordered that all confiscated rosewood consignment at the Tema Port be donated towards the construction of the National Cathedral.
Mr Jinapor said none of the confiscated rosewood would be auctioned but rather used for the building for the Cathedral, adding that “so in addition to the ban there will not be public auction for the purposes of domestic use of rosewood.
“All rosewood confiscated should and would be donated to the national cathedral for us to construct it for the good people of Ghana”.
The Sector Minister gave the order during a visit to the Global Container Terminal Ghana Limited, at the Tema Port to ascertain how the ban on the exportation of rosewood was being implemented and to inspect some confiscated five containers of rosewood intercepted at the point of export.
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The Minister, who was accompanied by Mr Frederick Obeng Adom, Deputy Minister of Transport, and officials from the Minsitry of Lands and Natural Resources, was received by Mrs Sandra Opoku, Director of Tema Port, and Mr Emmanuel Owusu Boadi, Chief Revenue Officer (GRA) in charge of Preventive.
He added that “when the National Cathedral turns out to have enough of rosewood, we will take other measures either to donate it to other public institutions.
“And if at any stage we decide an auction for domestic use, be rest assured that it would be done with a sense of integrity”.
Mr Jinapor reminded exporters that the ban, the President through Ministry of Lands placed on the exportation of rosewood, was still in place reiterating that no rosewood should be taken outside the shores of Ghana.
He stressed that under no circumstances should authorities allowed the export of rosewood outside the shores of Ghana.
He gave the assurance that government was determined to ensure the effective, efficient and sustainable exploitation management of Ghana’s lands and natural resources.
The Minister expressed satisfaction at the work of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), and the Tema Port Authority for strictly enforcing the ban, announcing that those behind the confiscated containers of rosewood would be handed over to the Police for prosecution after investigations.
Mr Francis Awate-Ogum, Chief Revenue Officer in Charge of Investigations, GRA-Customs Division at the Port told the Ghana News Agency that the containers were confiscated in the middle of June, 2021 after intelligence revealed that some persons were about to ship the rosewood out contrary to the ban on its exportation.
Mr Awate-Ogum said a search conducted on five out of the many containers revealed the rosewood, which the exporters had declared as charcoal.