THE Administrative Manager of Oti Yeboah Complex Limited, a Sunyani-based timber firm, Mr Kwadwo Yeboah-Asuama has urged the government to allow timber firms to initially harvest trees on mining concessions before mining operations take place.
According to him, that would enable the nation to reap the maximum benefits from those concessions instead of allowing the mining companies to destroy the trees found on the lands without harvesting them.
Mr Yeboah-Asuama made the appeal when regional ministers attending the just ended second Regional Ministers’ Conference in Sunyani went on a familiarisation tour of the premises of the sawmill at Abesim to acquaint themselves with its operations.
He also bemoaned the situation where the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources allocated concessions to private individuals who did not have the technical know-how and capacities to extract trees from the concessions and replant them.
Mr Yeboah-Asuama said for lack of equipment to harvest the trees, those individuals later sold the concessions to some timber firms at exorbitant prices.
He, therefore, called on the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to carry out due diligence before awarding those concessions on contract.
The administrative manager said the company had more than 1,500 workers with one-third of them being women as the company was gender sensitive.
He said the company exported most of its products, such as plywood to the neighbouring countries, adding that the company was now engaged in veneer and plywood production.
Mr Yeboah-Asuama stated that the company had established an afforestation of 80 hectares planted with various tree species to produce the needed basic raw material to feed the company.
He said the company was set up by Mr Maxwell Oti Yeboah, who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 1992 as an indigenous timber firm and has provided employment opportunities for indigenes of the Sunyani Municipality and its environs.
According to him, since its establishment, the company had lived up to its corporate social responsibility in its catchment areas.
The outgoing Chairman of the Regional Ministers Conference and Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said the visit was to encourage sole owned indigenous companies in the country to maximise their output.
He urged workers of the timber firm to continue to work harder and be dedicated to ensure the growth of the company.