We owe seedling providers GH₵28m not GH₵2.5bn –Lands ministry

Story: News Desk

Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has dismissed reports that the government owes some seedling providers under the Green Ghana project 2.5 billion cedis.

The seedling contractors were tasked to supply seedlings for the tree planting exercise during the Green Ghana Day celebrations for 2021 and 2022.

According to the association, several engagements with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Forestry Commission for the government to pay them have been unsuccessful despite the many assurances.

According to members of the association, they are currently frustrated as they are constantly being harassed by banks they secured loans from to procure the seedlings.

Speaking to the media , the Secretary of the Ashanti Region Seedlings Contractors Association, Gloria Amponsah called on President Akufo-Addo to intervene in ensuring that they were paid to lessen their burden.

“The situation is really hurting us. A lot of people are in trouble and the law courts are attacking them. We have gone to the Forestry Commission several times to no avail, sometimes we even sleep there but all the promises have not come true. When we go there, they treat us like we are not humans, they don’t have empathy for us”.

But the government has attempted to set the record straight describing the quoted amount as outrageous and that the government owes them only 28 million cedis.

Speaking during a tour to inspect some trees planted at some sites of the Green Ghana Project, Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Benito Owusu Bio said the government is making frantic efforts to pay them.

“Please we don’t owe anyone GH¢2.5 billion. Yes government owes for 2021 to 2022. In all, it is just 28 million Ghana cedis so where from the 2.5 billion? Let’s report the fact as it is.”

He further added that despite some peculiar challenges it has recorded, the survival rates during the 2021 and 2022 Green Ghana projects have been positive.

He added that the government will continually embark on such exercises to achieve its intended purpose.

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