Ghana’s Lands and Natural Resources Minister Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor has handed over thirteen (13) containers of impounded Rosewood at the Tema Ports and Habour believed to be from the country’s neighbour Nigeria, to the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) for a comprehensive investigation.
The investigation wil unravel persons and circumstances behind the importation of the commodity into the country as the country vigilantly guard against the illegal trade across the sub-region.
The thirty-first August, 2021 handing over adds to two; impounding and handing over of containers of rosewood in two months with the earlier happening on July 29.
Ghana in 2018 under the erstwhile Mahama administration outrightly banned the trade and transportation of Rosewood after reports suggested the country could lose its forest cover if the trade is not halted.
The ban was reinforced by the Akufo-Addo led administration with several efforts initiated including the impounding of containers at the Tema Port bound for the Asia country China.
The rosewood species has been listed by the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) as endangered species in five West African countries namely; Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso, Gambia, and Senegal-thus frantic effort must be made to prevent its extinction.
The Member of Parliament for the Damongo Constituency in the Savanah region revealed that Government is set to roll-out new policies regarding the use of impounded rosewood. The sector minister Mr. Jinapor also noted his ministry was in discussions with the country’s National Security to investigate how the logging of the species continue unabated inspite of the ban.
“We are convinced that there is a very sophisticated cartel involved in this trade and we think that the National Security can unravel. We have requested the National Security Architecture to assist the Ministry to unravel and enable us better understand the issues and circumstances surrounding the operations of this cartel,” the minister hinted.
The thirteen containers were impounded on twenty-seventh August 2021.