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The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, has tasked officials of the three main agencies under the Ministry in the Northern Region to ensure an end to encroachment on forest reserves and public lands in the region.
He said this during a meeting with the sector officials on October 4, 2021, at the Northern Regional Coordinating Council.
Addressing the staff who were mainly from the Office of Administrator of Stool Lands, Forestry, Lands and Minerals Commissions, the Minister appealed to them to work together with the Regional Minister and the Coordinating Council to bring an end to this menace which was at its preliminary stage before it escalates into a national problem like that of the small-scale illegal mining.
“The matter to do with the encroachment of forest reserves in Tamale is a matter we have to deal with and deal with forcefully.
“We are told, and it’s very evident that the forest reserves in the Tamale Metropolis are being encroached upon, we cannot permit that,” he added.
The Minister further stated that very soon the Regional Security Council is going to map out strategies to clear off all the encroachers along the forest reserve to ensure the sustainability of Tamale.
Jinapor said the operations of the Northern Regional agencies is very crucial for the corporate win of the entire Northern sector.
He explained that as the parent region out of which the three new regions were birthed, their functions and operations can and will have great implications on the output of work.
Further to that, Tamale, he said, is turning into the centre of commerce for North Africa and as a result, there is a need to preserve the public lands of Tamale and the Northern Region at large.
He also assured them of interventions underway to ensure the welfare issues of the agencies are ironed out.
As part of these interventions, the Minister disclosed that in the coming month, the government will launch the Shea Plantation Scheme, which will ensure the injection of some huge capital into the forestry sector.
On behalf of President Nana Akufo-Addo, the Minister expressed his gratitude to the officials for the hard work and assured them of his endless support.
He assured them that “you can count on me as your Minister. I will back you throughout all of this.”