By Chinelo Obogo
Nigerian Human Rights Community (NHRC) has urged the Federal Government to arrest and prosecute Chinese, Koreans, Lebanese and other foreigners who are involved in illegal exportation of wood in the country.
Director of Publicity of the organisation, Taiwo Adeleye, during a press conference at the NHRC secretariat in Lagos, yesterday, said Nigeria has become hub to the largest illegal exportation of wood in Africa and about 16 states have been severely impacted negatively by the illegal activities of the foreigners.
Adeyele said the main targets of the perpetrators are Rosewood, Araria, Mahogany and Iroko and that annually, some 3.5, approximately 350,000-400,000 hectares of forests are destroyed per year.
“The main actors are Chinese, Koreans and Lebanese who have no other jobs than to invade the forests, cut down the trees for export in the most ignoble, vicious and callous manners.
“It may interest Nigerians to know that these precious trees that cost a fortune are never replaced by these foreigners who feast on them.
“We call on President Muhannadu Buhari, the National Assembly and the 36 state governors to immediately ban these foreign nationals involved in illegal exportation of Nigeria’s precious wood resources” Adeleye said.