Applaud Gov’t for doing the right thing with Achimota forest’ – Benito
A Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Bio-Owusu, has justified the government’s decision to remove the reserve status from parts of the Achimota forest.
“What the government has done is to do the right thing. hen we do the right thing by being transparent as a government, we must be applauded for that. Let us be truthful and do the right thing,” the Minister told journalists.
The Executive Instrument, E.I. 144, declassifying portions of the Achimota Forest as a reserve, sparked anxiety with speculations about possible developments on the land.
There have been suggestions for the government to consider compensating the family, instead of declassifying parts of the forest reserve.
However, speaking to journalists, the Deputy Minister said ceding the land to the custodial owners was the most viable option.
The Minister said given the monetary value of Achimota land, government would have paid more in compensation, if declassifying the forest reserve was not on the table.
“I do not know how much the value would have been, but I can envisage that it would have been a huge amount and we know it would have broken the back of government. Let me ask, how much is an acre of land in Achimota now. I do not know it off hand but I can imagine that will be very huge. “
The government explained that the E.I. pertained to 361 acres of peripherals of the Achimota forest that the government is returning to its custodial owners.
There is also an accompanying E.I., 154, which states emphatically, the area of the forest returned shall remain a Forest Reserve.