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General News | Sep 22, 2011

Timber merchant wants tariffs reduced

Ghanaian Chronicle

Mr. Ernest Apraku, Managing Director of Berekum-based  Asuo Bosoma Timber and Sawmills (ABTS), has appealed to the government to consider a downward adjustment in utility  tariffs in the production sector.

He noted that the high cost of production, following high tariffs, have caused most firms to fold up, and said a reduction in the tariffs would help those firms yet to close down to maintain their labour.

The measure, he noted, would save the escalating unemployment situation in the country. Mr. Apraku told The Chronicle in an interview in Kumasi that foreign companies were buying timber logs from Gabon instead of Ghana, because a ban had been placed on export of logs, which situation had made it very difficult for the local companies to sustain their operations.

As a result, the work force had been retrenched, and in most cases, done away with, in order to cut down cost. He urged Ghanaians to give afforestation a serious thought to save the country's forests from total depletion.

Mr. Apraku observed that if care was not taken, Ghana's forests would be under serious threat of degradation, and urged Ghanaians to plant trees to reduce the country's wood deficit.

He has, therefore, recommended a check on the activities of illegal chainsaw operators. Mr. Apraku also appealed to chiefs across the country to make land available for tree planting to sustain the economy.

He also urged the media to create awareness on the need to protect the environment against further degradation.

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