The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, responsible for Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio has dismissed claims circulating in the media space about government’s unpaid debt of GHS2.3 Billion to Green Ghana Seedling providers after the planting exercises.
Addressing the Media on a site monitoring tour of some Green Ghana seedlings planted in selected areas in Accra, yesterday, Benito Owusu-Bio stressed that “there is no such thing as 2.5 Billion debt, even the funds allocated by the government for Green Ghana was not that much. What we actually owe our seedlings providers is an amount of GHS28 million, which will soon be cleared”
He gave an assurance to the seedling providers that talks are already underway with the Finance Ministry to settle all Green Ghana debts owed and will personally ensure that these conversations are fast tracked.
He also assured Ghanaians and tax payers that all monies invested into procuring Green Ghana Seedlings have been judiciously utilised as most of the seedlings planted during the 2021-2022 Green Ghana planting exercises are surviving.
“Earlier, we disclosed a survival rate of 80% however due to weather conditions and other factors, currently seedlings planted in 2021 has a survival rate of 67% and 2022 a 72% survival and that is good progress because no matter what, we will not be able to achieve a 100% survival rate”
Mr Benito was impressed with how well the seedlings have grown so far, applauding the Forestry Commission for ensuring that Foresters nurtured the Green Ghana seedlings to this level of maturity.
The Deputy Minister also urged all Ghanaians who planted seedlings in their homes and farms to ensure they make it an effort in nurturing the seedlings to maturity, while calling on all and sundry to join the frail and plant the 10million seedlings scheduled to be planted this year to help mitigate climate change.
Benito asserted that the Monitoring is part of a build-up of activities towards the Green Ghana Day, which he reiterated will be on the 9th June, 2023.
The team on the monitoring tour first visited the Seismic Centre at the Ghana Geological Survey in Achimota, then to three planting sites on Legon campus, through the Achimota Forest to Achimota Secondary School and to the JJ Rawlings Foundation guardianship, inside the Achimota School.
Joining the Deputy Minister on this tour were the Deputy CEO of the Forestry Commission, Mr. Sulemana Nyadia, the Director for Forestry Services Division at the Forestry Commission, Mr. Hugh C. A. Brown, the Technical Director for Forestry at the Ministry, Mr. Joseph Osiakwan and other officials from the Ministry and the Commission.