The Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of Forestry Commission has held a 2- day 2022 Performance Review Meeting at Takoradi in the Western Region. The Meeting was to assess the performance of the Division in the year under review, and also to plan for the current year.

The meeting was graced by the presence of the Chief Executive of Forestry Commission, Mr. John Allotey; Deputy CE, Hon. Martha Kwayie Manu; Director HR, Mrs. Anne Brown; Internal  Audit Director, Mr. Elisha Asiedu- Amponsah; Acting Executive Director, TIDD, Dr. Mohammed Nurudeen Iddrissu;  Acting Director of Operations, TIDD, Mr. Peter Zormelo; Regional Manager, FSD, Western Region, Mr. Mike Painstil; Head of Corporate Affairs & Media Relations, Mrs. Joyce Ofori Kwafo; and Management and Area Managers of TIDD.

In an address by the Chairperson, Hon. Martha Kwayie Manu, who is also the Deputy Chief Executive in charge of the Division, she welcomed all present and congratulated staff of the Division for the good performance in the past year and wished them fruitful deliberations.

Mr. Peter Zormelo, the Acting Director of Operations, said he deemed it a great honour to deliver a welcome address for the event. He welcomed all present, and said he looked forward to having a great day, and encouraged all present to relax and enjoy the programme.

Delivering the opening remarks for the event, the Acting Executive Director of TIDD, Dr. Mohammed Nurudeen Iddrisu, said it was a great honour  to gather to take stock of the past year, and prepare for the current year. He eumerated some of the achievements of the Division in 2022,  as  follows :  – Improvement in revue generation of the Division.

  • A UNIDO – sponsored Training Workshop for 120 staff from Forest Services Division (FSD) and TIDD.
  • The Xylotrix Pocket Wood Identification App, to identify unknown wood species. Additional funding has been given to TIDD to further automate the system.
  • Permit Information System has been deployed before the Executive Management Team of FC and management of TIDD.

Dr.  Iddrisu further informed the gathering that a composite Manual of Procedure, the first of its kind in TIDD, will be completed in due course. In concluding his statement, he encouraged the senior staff to mentor their subordinates in wood technology, environmental sciences, among others. He thanked the Chief Executive and his Deputy, Directors and all staff present, who he described as the nerve centre of the Division, for making it to the meeting.

Mr. John Allotey, the Chief Executive of Forestry Commission, commended the management of TIDD for their hard work which had turned round the fortunes of the Division. He encouraged TIDD staff to be concerned with whatever happens in the other divisions /units in the Commission as there are linkages in the work staff do. Among other things, Mr. Allotey touched on the following:

  • TIDD staff will be educated on the Wildlife Bill and how it affects their work.
  • The establishment of two model domestic markets, at Sefwi Wiawso and Dormaa Ahenkro.
  • The Division should have all basic information on plantation timber at their fingertips and broaden their outlook on other aspects of the work of the Commission, for instance climate change because it is linked to their work.
  •  Staff must fully understand the concept of Lesser Used Timber Species (LUTS) before they market it to clients and the general public.
  •  Two staff will visit Vietnam and India by the end of March, to understudy them on the use of teak and cedrella.
  • The Commission is in the process of building two offices at Awaso and Tema.
  • Pick- up vehicles and motorcycles will be supplied to staff in due course to boost their work.
  • Military services for monitoring have been withdrawn therefore, the Rapid Response Team has filled that gap.
  • Staff should eschew all forms of divisiveness because whatever happens in one division has an effect on the other. Area and Regional Managers from TIDD and FSD respectively, should interact more often to foster a good relationship between the two Divisions.
  • Staff should lodge funds collected on behalf of the Division on time.
  • The Commission has begun negotiations with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) for upward adjustment of staff salaries. FWSC will be going round to interview staff to gain in-depth knowledge into the work of the Commission’s staff.
  • Each region will have public relations, and health & safety desks.
  • Restructuring of the London Office requires that staff position themselves for opportunities that may arise.
  • All vacant positions will be filled therefore, management staff should not prevent any staff from applying for any vacant position.
  • Staff should make optimal use of the Commission’s assets by bringing ideas on how to create multiple streams of income.

The Director of Internal Audit, Mr. Elisha Asiedu -Amponsah mentioned that auditing is not witch-hunting but it is a form of internal control that will streamline the operations of TIDD. He commended TIDD for continuously contributing to the economic development of the country. He however, mentioned that the Division over the years, had been exposed to breaches of financial indiscipline, some of which are selling confiscated timber below approved rates, among others. He encouraged the Division to implement audit recommendations as it they will improve work practices. He further encouraged staff to be truthful during validation exercises. Ending his delivery, the Internal Audit Director expressed his appreciation to staff for their hard work and encouraged them to work harder to ensure the sustainability of the nation’s resources.

Mrs. Anne Brown, Director of Human Resources, took her turn to address staff, where she mentioned that Heads of Departments / Divisions should review staff performance as it is one of the requirements for promotional interviews. She encouraged the Division to conduct a training needs assessment to enable the HR Directorate conduct the needed training/ capacity building programmes for staff.

Touching on training on the job, she said mentors should be assigned to mentees as a way of impacting the young ones.  She informed the gathering that an Occupational Health and Safety Desk will be set up in the regions as well as public relations persons. She commended the TIDD staff for wearing their uniforms, and assured them that more uniforms will be supplied to staff in the course of the year.

After the deliveries, staff were given the opportunity to ask questions, seek clarifications on issues bothering them and offered suggestions for improvement in the Commission’s work.