DR APAAK SHOULD STOP THE â€˜ UNPRODUCTIVE BATTLE ON ROSEWOOD TRADE( Re: ARREST AND PROSECUTE ASANTE FOR HIS ROLE IN ILLEGAL ROSEWOOD TRADE-IN APAAK TO LANDS MINISTER
Published on Saturday 14th August,2021 on Ghanaweb.)
Attention All Media Houses!
STOP THE HYPOCRISY ON ROSEWOOD TRADE â€“ PANYMAN CEO TO DR.APAAK
My name is Eric Kwesi Taylor, CEO of Penyman Company Limited and a Rosewood Merchant and Permit Holder before ban was enforced on harvesting, transportation and export of rosewood.
I am by this publication, sending a strong signal and warning to Dr Clement Apaak and his NDC Rosewood Kingpins to stop the hypocrisy and the dust they are pushing into the eyes of Ghanaians and therefore blackmailing the current government to fight against the prospects of the teeming unemployed youth in the country, especially our brothers from the northern regions of Ghana, who have rosewood logging and trade as the most lucrative job and business opportunity.
I want to remind and inform Ghanaians that, before Ex-President Mahama assume office in July 2012 after the demise of Ex-President Mills, there was a ban on harvesting, transportation and export of rosewood.
Upon critical thinking and assessment of the impact and benefits rosewood contribute to the national economy by creating jobs and employment for the youth, generation of the highest timber royalty revenue to support the National budget and the other positive social benefits that influence our local community livelihood.
The NDC government led by Ex-President Mahama lifted the rosewood ban in June 2015 and directed the ministry of lands and natural resources to issue permits for Eight companies (Jowalk, Savanna, Adom Yeboah, Iron Master, Bartronic and Peggy Addaie, OKT and Debogab) belonging to NDC Party National and Regional executives and Family Members of Ex-President Mahama. I worked with these companies as rosewood buyers representative and was appointed by the Eight companies as their coordinator to lead a National taskforce to arrest illegal transportation of rosewood from the farm gate to Tema and Greater Accra. This operation was executed by a team of military officers, forestry commission staff, Police service ( SWAT), National Security Operatives, and my good self as the leader and representative for all the permit holders.
During this period, Dr Apaak was a presidential Staffer and aide to Ex-President Mahama and we never heard him battling rosewood trade in Ghana. Dr Apaak is a native of Builsa North and currently, MP for Builsa North where 40% of the rosewood logs were exported out of the country comes from.
Dr. Apaak should not forget that this rosewood business has been the biggest and only commercial trade ever find in his area which has seen lots of his constituent members making good financial gains out of the rosewood trade.
For instance, from June 2015 till now, the District Assembly takes the District Assembly levy ranging from 500ghc to 3000ghc per container and bucket truckload respectively. Merchants also pay between 500g hc to 1000ghc to chiefs as traditional council levy and pay land fee of 1500 GHC to 2000ghc to farm owners or landowners, 200ghc to 500ghc to youth Association and 300ghc to 500ghc to the Unit Committees and Assembly members.
During the period 2015 to 2016, Some government appointees were taken 500ghc as protocol into their pockets free of charge which Dr Apaak was aware of as aide to President Mahama and Presidential staffer but he did not cough a word.
I want Dr Apaak to understand that we are wild awake of his intent. My question here is that, is Dr Apaak minority spoke person for Forestry in parliament? Or is he protecting a special interest by his paymasters who were the six cronies companies of Ex-President Mahama who hijacked rosewood trade in During Mahama Administration?
Dr Apaak knows the good impact of rosewood trade to the national economy and he is only playing his paymasterâ€™s advocacy to tie NPP government hand and spew deception on the minds of Ghanaians so he and his masterâ€™s get the opportunity years later to chop again from rosewood trade.
I am by this write-up appealing to President Akuffo Addo and Hon Abu Jinapor to consider the benefits that rosewood has contributed to the national economy and close their ears and eyes on the sycophancy rant of Dr Apaak.I want Dr Apaak to give government one scientific research proof on rosewood to support his claims that, rosewood should be banned and I also come out with some scientific research and proof that suggest that sustainable rosewood logging has no direct effect on the environment but rather the logging had a positive impact.
Finally, we are calling on government to fix the rosewood merchants by inviting us for a consultative meeting to look into possibilities of reviving the rosewood trade for mutual benefit.
Penyman Company Limited and itâ€™s partners are willing to negotiate with government to process rosewood into different furniture patterns for both local and foreign markets to add value and create more jobs and employment.
God bless our Homeland Ghana.
Signed: Eric Kwesi Taylor
CEO-PENYMAN COMPANY LIMITED