22 June 2006

Ghana: Forestry Commission Should Be Reconstituted - Collins Dauda

A ranking member of the Committee on Lands and Forestry, Collins Dauda, has called on the President not to delay any further in dissolving the Forestry Commission and put in place a new one in conformity with the Forestry Act.

He said the existence of the Commission is illegal and any decisions or actions taken by it have no legal effect; as such any allowances drawn by the members are not only illegal, but also constitute financial loss to the state.

In a press release, Mr. Dauda stated that as a ranking member of the Committee, which has oversight responsibility of the Ministry, he feels duty bound to expose any irregularity or illegality in the sector.

The member who is also the MP for Asutifi South, noted that the Forestry Commission, which has the responsibility for the regulation of the utilization of forest and wildlife resources was established under the Commission's Act 1999 Act 571.

He explained that section 5 subsection 1 of the Act states that 'A member of the Commission, other than the chief executive, and the representative of the Lands Commission shall hold office for a period not exceeding four years and is, on the expiration of the period, eligible for re-appointment".

He said the members of the Commission as constituted were inaugurated into office in September 2001. By the provisions of the section, it is unambiguously clear that the Commission has exceeded its tenure of office and therefore incompetent to perform its statutory responsibilities.

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