The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, has indicated that former President John Mahama, by executive approval, gave out Achimota Forest for redevelopment in 2013.
He made this remark while debunking reports that the ruling government has sold Achimota Forest.
Speaking in an interview on Peace FM's morning show 'Kokrokoo', he said: "on September 5, 2013, the then President, John Dramani Mahama, gave Executive Approval for the conversion of the forest reserve into an ecotourism park, and to release the peripheral portions of the forest reserve to the Owoo family, in accordance with the recommendations of the committee”.
The minister explained that because the land remained a forest reserve, by virtue of Order 31 of 1930, the lessees and sub-lessees could not develop the land, although they had obtained all the necessary permits.
He said pursuant to the same Executive Approval, the Forestry Commission, acting on behalf of President entered into an agreement with Aikan Capital, a limited liability company, for the development of core areas of the forest into an eco-tourism park.
The commission also executed a lease agreement with the company in February 2016, by which 227.84 hectares of the reserve were leased to the company to undertake the planned development.
“The Owoo family and their grantees, in a bid to develop the peripheral portions of the land which had already been granted to them, continued to petition the government to release of the peripheral portions as a forest reserve,” Mr Jinapor added.