Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has assured Ghanaians of the President’s commitment to ensuring that state natural resources are managed efficiently.

He was speaking in relation to the brouhaha surrounding the declassification of parts of the Achimota Forest Reserve and the subsequent saga that has unfolded after portions of the Reserve were discovered bequeathed to beneficiaries in the will of the former Forestry Commission boss, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie.

Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile, he said, “The good news is that the President has absolutely committed to ensuring that we manage these resources responsibly, effectively and with integrity which is really good.

“I am also particularly encouraged with the kind of examination, interrogation and public discourse which has greeted this intervention, and I think that it’s all in the interest of our democracy and also the public good.”

He noted that the protection of the Forest Reserve from unscrupulous people who would want to go on a land grabbing spree was not the sole reserve of the Lands Minister, but the collective responsibility of all players in Ghana’s democratic dispensation.

“The responsibility or duty to protect and preserve, manage the land and natural resources of our country which truly continues to be the property of the Ghanaian people, the heritage of the Ghanaians people and which is really all we have will not with the greatest of respect rest on just me.

“I will have a role to play, there’s no two ways about that, and a very important role to play; the government has a role to play, the media as you are doing, you have a role to play; civil society has a role to play.”

Abu Jinapor was, however, skeptical about the creation of a Commission of Enquiry to investigate the issues surrounding the Achimota Forest.

According to him, Commissions of Enquiry in the past have provided little results, however, he was still open to the idea.

“Commission of Enquiry? I think it’s early days yet . I think it is something we can consider to examine. There have been commission of enquiries in the past. Let us also ask ourselves what extent have they served their purposes. It will not be my decision to make eventually.

“I’m not sure we can take that decision now. The most important thing is that the discourse is ongoing and we are also trying to take the steps we think are proper, are in the national interest. We’ll see where the chips will fall,” he said.