Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
The Ogun State Ministry of Forestry says it has put in place measures to crackdown on illegal logging activities in forest reserves across the state.
The Commissioner for Forestry, Tunji Akinosi disclosed this during the 2021 Productivity Enhancement Retreat programme tagged “Managing Ogun Forests Resources For Sustainable Development, Growth and Revenue Enhancement”, held in Abeokuta the state capital.
Akinosi hinted that the illegal logging has been a challenge to the ministry in previous years noting the activities had been reduced in the last one year.
He explained that the retreat programme was organised to enhance efficient service delivery by the staff of the ministry and forest reserve officers.
“We are here today to first thank our staff, both the ones at the ministry and those in our reserves for the job they did in year 2020 despite the pandemic. In the ministry of forestry there was no break and we are able to achieve what we achieved.
“We have called them for a retreat this time to rub-mind together as to have what to do better in 2021. We have a daunting task to replant the forest which have not been done in so many years, we are also having a revenue edge that is beyond the 100% of what we did in 2020, so we’ve come to sit together to know where the challenges are and know how we are going to achieve the results.”
“Illegality in the forest in Nigeria started long in 1908 and we are trying to reduce it in the last one year and that was what shore up our own revenue base. We had so many arrests and so many fines were paid into the coffers of the state government.
“For this year, we have agreed among ourselves and the staff that will be going a little bit further aside making arrest and penalising people, we are going to decide another means in reducing the illegality and we assured that at the end of the year we would have achieved so much”, the Commissioner said.
On his parts, the Chairman, Forestry Association of Nigeria, Ogun State chapter, Kayode Ogunjobi commended the ministry for the initiative, saying “it is a good aim towards engineering the forestry sector in the state to effective service delivery.
“It is an established fact that our forest in Ogun State, even before this administration had some issues in terms of illegal actions and illegal dealings. We have established a fact that it will take strong political will for all this stop, it is beyond rethorics but action for it to stop”
“We thank the government for putting mechanism in place to curtail all this; we are believing that in this new year this mechanism put in place to curtail this illegal activities ranging from cocoa farming, illegal tree felling and illegal dwellers will curtail them”. Ogunjobi said.