N/R: Lands Commission refutes Minority leader's claim over the sale of Timber Market
Lands Commission of Northern Region has refuted claims by the Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu that the Timber Market in Tamale has been sold out for commercial purpose.
It would be recalled that on Saturday 1st May, 2021 while interacting with his constituents, the Member of Parliament for Tamale South constituency has demanded from government to reverse the sale of Timber Market in Tamale to private developers.
In a press conference on Thursday 20th May 2021 at the Cultural Center in Tamale read by the Northern Regional chairman for Lands Commission Dubik Mahama Yakubu described the statement from the Honorable Member of Parliament as 'unfortunate and very misleading'.
According to the Lands Commission’s chairman, the general public should be rest assured especially people doing business in the timber Market that the land has not been sold out to anybody.
He further disclosed that occupants at the timber Market doing business were never served with notice to vacate the market contrary to the claims made by the Minority Leader.
Mr. Dubik Mahama Yakubu further asserted that Timber Market is not the property of Forestry Commission as claimed by the Tamale South legislator in interview with the media in the first week of May 2021.
However, the lands Commission through its regional chairman has noted that the outfit has only leased a commercial plot by the road side between Commercial bank and the Shell Filling station along the Nyohini main road to a private developer, a state land which hitherto was used by Ghana National Trading Corporation, (GNTC) of old, insisting no piece of land belonging to the Timber market has been sold out except that it is a state property.
Saganitvonline.com checks at the Lands Commission reveal that the piece of land in questioned has been leased to a business man from Nanton by name Alhaj Fatuhu who intends to build a super market at the location.
Meanwhile Lands Commission has also indicated that occupants at the Timber Market have been operating on the land for several years without paying anything to the state.
Several attempts by the lands Commission to regularize their stay there by requesting them to apply for leases to cover their holdings yielded nothing following lack of deep discussion with the leaders at the Timber Market.
When the saganitvonline.com visited the Timber Market to engage with the chairman at the market Alhaj Kadir Issahaku, he discounted the press conference by lands Commission noting that the supposed land is under the ownership of Forestry Commission and does not in any way belong to the Lands Commission, for which reason they always pay their taxes to the Forestry Commission but not to Lands Commission.
The Timber Market chairman has also sent strong signal that they will resist all attempts by the Lands Commission to evict people from such piece of land as over 600 people who are doing Timber business depend on the market for their livelihoods and survival.
Alhaj Kadir also says as chairman of the Timber Market, never under his watch would he sit aloof to allow Lands Commission to lease the land to a private developer for a commercial purpose because the land does not belong to the commission. According to him, he is only obliged to obey instructions from Forestry Commission but not any other agency.
Story by: Alhassan Mumuni Inusah/saganitvonline.com