Deputy lands minister refutes reports of 2.3 billion seedling arrears.
The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, responsible for Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio has dismissed claims circulating in the media space about the government’s unpaid debt of 2.3 Billion to Green Ghana Seedling providers after the planting exercises.
Addressing the Media on a site monitoring tour of some Green Ghana seedlings planted in selected areas of Accra, on Tuesday, 28th March 2023, Mr. Owusu-Bio stressed that “there is no such thing as 2.5 Billion debt, even the funds allocated by the government for Green Ghana was not that much. What we actually owe our seedlings providers is an amount of 28million Ghana cedis which will soon be cleared”
He gave an assurance to the seedlings providers that talks are already underway with the Finance Ministry to settle all Green Ghana debts owed and will personally ensure that these conversations are fast-tracked.
He also assured Ghanaians and taxes payers that all monies invested into procuring Green Ghana Seedlings have been judiciously utilized as most of the seedlings planted during the 2021-2022 Green Ghana planting exercises are surviving.
“Earlier, we disclosed a survival rate of 80% however due to weather conditions and other factors, currently seedlings planted in 2021 have a survival rate of 67% and 2022 a 72% survival and that is good progress because no matter what, we will not be able to achieve a 100% survival rate”
Mr. Benito was impressed with how well the seedlings have grown so far, applauding the Forestry Commission for ensuring that Foresters nurtured the Green Ghana seedlings to this level of maturity.
The Deputy Minister also urged all Ghanaians who planted seedlings in their homes and farms to ensure they make an effort in nurturing the seedlings to maturity while calling on all and sundry to join the frail and plant the 10 million seedlings scheduled to be planted this year to help mitigate climate change.
Hon. Benito asserted that the Monitoring is part of a build-up of activities towards the Green Ghana Day which he reiterated will be on the 9th of June 2023.
The team on the monitoring tour first visited the Seismic Centre at the Ghana Geological Survey in Achimota, then to three planting sites at the Legon campus, through to the Achimota Forest, to Achimota secondary school, and to the JJ Rawlings Foundation guardianship inside the Achimota School.
Joining the Deputy Minister on this tour was the Deputy CEO of the Forestry Commission, Mr. Sulemana Nyadia, the Director of the Forestry Services Division at the Forestry Commission, Mr. Hugh C. A. Brown, the Technical Director for Forestry at the Ministry, Mr. Joseph Osiakwan and other officials from the Ministry and the Commission.