Ghana government asked to probe timber concessions

The Revenue Protection Information Bureau at the weekend called on the President to probe the irregularities involved in the allocation of timber concessions and the export of the product, especially teak.

The bureau said there was an unholy alliance between some Ghanaian entrepreneurs  and their foreign counterparts to deprive the state of revenue.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Mr Francis Kwofie, a Director at the bureau said research conducted by the body indicated that the businessmen had invaded the country’s forests and acquired and cleared concessions and exported the timber.

However they have refused to repatriate the foreign currency into the country through the Bank of Ghana.

Mr Kwofie claimed that some of the entrepreneurs rather bring the proceeds through the back door and change them at the black market, thus depriving the nation of huge revenue.

He said it was expedient for the government to probe these activities as well as the allocation of the concessions to track down those owing the state.

“After the Ghanaian and their foreign partners had depleted the forest reserves, government is compelled to look for resources to carry out reforestation,” Mr Kwofie said.

He pledged the commitment of the bureau to support the government with the information to nip the criminal act in the bud.

The bureau, which is a centre for gathering information on revenue leakages, aims at teaming up with the public to achieve its objectives and also serve as an economic watchdog.

It would collaborate with any institution mandated to collect revenue on behalf of the state to check revenue malpractices and other economic crimes.

Source: GNA

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