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Timber Association Okays Dismantling Of Lumber Checkpoints

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission (FC), Mr. John Allotey, continues to receive commendation for his decision to demolish some lumber checkpoints in the country.

The Ghana Timber Association (GTA) has added its voice to other organizations in commending the Commission for embarking on the exercise.

In a statement issued in Accra, Mr. Alex Dadzie, President of the Ghana Timber Association (GTA) maintains that the number of checkpoints need to be reduced significantly to enhance domestic timber business and reduce the cost of doing business.

“The high number of checkpoints on our routes contributes to the rise in cost of doing business in the industry and this decision (by the Forestry Commission) to demolish some checkpoints along some routes is commendable,” Mr. Dadzie said in the statement.

He indicated that, “stopping and delaying trucks at numerous checkpoints, lead to rise in transportation costs and disappointing our clients. Drivers charge extra fees when they take longer than usual to convey our goods and we also end up failing to meet our clients’ deadlines.”

Mr. Dadzie further explained that, members of the GTA deal with public and private contractors, many of whom need to meet deadlines in the execution of their jobs, thus the delays affect their work.

“Ghana Timber Association wishes to establish the fact that it is not in any way against the mounting of checkpoints on lumber routes since they help in checking illegalities in the business. Our stance is that, the number should be reduced to allow for free flow of business,” he stated.

He posited that, since much checks are done at the production centres under the supervision of Technical Officers (TOs) and other officials, a few checkpoints would be enough to correct any infractions or errors committed at source.

He advised the Forestry Commission to offer more training to Technical Officers of the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) to conduct vigorous and rigorous inspection at the timber mills and production centres, adding that they (TOs) should be held accountable for infractions.

This, he said, would ensure the right things are done without compromise, while reducing the frustrations and delays that eventually affect the cost of doing business.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission, Mr. John Allotey, recently directed the immediate removal of the lumber checkpoints at Kwahu-Nsabaa and Bunso on the Accra-Kumasi Highway.

He explained that the move was to make it possible for genuine dealers in lumber to transport the product from the hinterland to market centres unhindered.

He said there was no need to constantly arrest dealers of wood products at the checkpoints since the trees had already been cut down and processed.



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