Addressing journalists recently at his Adelaide Street office in Freetown, Mr. Kamara said the money has been paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) at the Bank of Sierra Leone.
He explained that two thousand five hundred United States Dollars ($2,500) was paid to the NRA per container and three hundred and fifty United States Dollars ($350) for reforestation drive. “In total, Leadway Trading Company is paying $2,850 per container”, Mr. Kamara noted.
The Chief Executive Officer maintained that monies for reforestation are deposited in the Consolidated Timber Revenue (CTR) account at the Bank of Sierra Leone and is meant to facilitate tree planting and related forestry and reforestation activities.
He added that the temporary lifting of the ban on the export of harvested timber does not amount to lifting of the ban on new timber logging.
Mr. Kamara maintained that his company has been working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) to ensure that no new trees are logged for export purposes.
He used the opportunity to call on all stakeholders in the timber trade especially the SLP, and district forest officers under MAF to continue monitoring our forests to ensure that no new felling of trees for timber export takes place.
The CEO added that he was appointed Government Agent to facilitate the export of the estimated 13,000 containers worth of timber across the country, adding that Leadway has received payment for only 1,150 containers.
It could be recalled that following the political transition in early April this year, government imposed a ban on timber trade and, through the Ministry of Finance, set up a five-man Timber Review Committee to investigate the trade during the previous regime.
After the investigations, the committee recommended that a sole Agent be appointed by the government to supervise and coordinate the timber trade. It was further recommended that all timber charges be paid into the CRF set up by the government at Bank of Sierra Leone and also to allow the Government Agent export an estimated 13,000,000 worth of timber already logged and harvested before the ban.