- Minister for Lands and Natural Resource, Abu Jinapor, has explained that the plan to redevelop the Achimota Forest Reserve started under John Mahama in 2013
- According to him, Nana Akufo-Addo's government was merely continuing the process set in motion by the Mahama administration
- His explanation follows allegations that the current administration was planning to sell portions of the land that make up the reserve
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Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Abu Jinapor, has said Nana Akufo-Addo’s government was only following a plan started under John Mahama’s government to redevelop the Achimota forest.
The Minister revealed that it was the former president Mahama who gave out Achimota Forest for redevelopment in 2013.
"On September 5, 2013, the then President, John Dramani Mahama, gave Executive Approval for the conversion of the forest reserve into an ecotourism park, and to release the peripheral portions of the forest reserve to the Owoo family, in accordance with the recommendations of the committee,” he said.
According to a report by Peace FM, the Minister made this remark to debunk reports that Nana Akufo-Addo was scheming to sell portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve.
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Abu Jinapor explained that because the land remained a forest reserve because of Order 31 of 1930, the eco-tourism project could not start although other relevant permits had been obtained.
He said according to the same Executive Approval, the Forestry Commission, acting on behalf of the President entered into an agreement with Aikan Capital, a limited liability company, for the development of core areas of the forest into an eco-tourism park.
The commission also executed a lease agreement with the company in February 2016, by which 227.84 hectares of the reserve were leased to the company to undertake the planned development.
“The Owoo family and their grantees, in a bid to develop the peripheral portions of the land which had already been granted to them, continued to petition the government to release the peripheral portions as a forest reserve,” Mr Jinapor added.
Achimota Forest: Osu Traditional Council Says Owoo Family Not Rightful Owners Of Land
Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh has reported that the Osu Traditional Council said the Owoo family cannot be the rightful owners of the vast lands that were acquired in the 1920s to establish the Achimota Forest Reserve.
The traditional council is contesting the release of 136 acres of peripheral portions of the Achimota Forest Reserve to them.
According to a report published by Ghanaweb, a spokesperson of the Osu Stool, Nii O.T. Ankrah, said on Angel FM that the forest “perfectly” belongs to the Osu Stool. He claimed that the stool handed over the land to the state for the construction of Achimota Senior High School and subsequently, its extension.