Sanitation

All seedling contractors will be paid-Lands Ministry Assures

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The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has reiterated its assurance that seedling contractors who provided seedlings during the 2021 and 2022 tree-planting exercises will be paid as soon as possible.

Members of the Plantation Developers and Seedlings Contractors Association have recently intensified calls for the government to pay the GH¢28 million that is owed them.

Speaking at this year’s tree-planting exercise in the Ashanti Region, Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu Bio, stressed that the ministry is working with the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the money is paid to the seedling providers.

The Deputy Minister added that, in order to avoid increasing the debt, the ministry did not contract the seedling contractors this year, but instead asked the Forestry Commission to provide the seedlings needed for the exercise.

“Yes, they have not been paid, but we are in talks with the Ministry of Finance, and they will work something out for them. This year, unfortunately, we could not buy from them. All the seedlings that you are seeing have been raised by the Forestry Commission themselves, simply because we do not want to add to the debt. We want to clear the old debts before we add on. That is why we did that,” he stated.

On his part, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, urged residents of Kumasi to actively participate in the exercise to help restore Kumasi’s image as the Garden City.

“This should not be an annual event. If we are able to do this successfully, we will bring back the Garden City of Kumasi. Now, we are cutting down almost all the trees, so let us all help to bring back the Garden City,” he stated.

Ashanti Regional Manager of the Forestry Commission, Clement Amo Omari, assured that the Commission was putting in place adequate measures to nurture the trees being planted to ensure the sustainability of the initiative.

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