KOGI Government says it has achieved 90 per cent success in controlling illegal logging and other deforestation activities across the 21 local government areas of the state.
The state Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lokoja.
“It is important to note that the ban placed on illegal logging in 2016 by the State Executive Council has achieved a high rate of success due to the commitment of Gov. Yahaya Bello.
“The state Commissioner of Police has set up law enforcement task force of 45-man with the mandate to control illegal logging across the state.
“As we speak, illegal logging in Kogi has been controlled up to 90 per cent; other 10 per cent is what happens at night.
“This great achievement is due to the strong commitment of the state government,” Osikoya said.
She attributed the success to the enforcement of fines ranging from N1.5 million to N2.5 million as approved by the State Executive Council on any truck that carries illegal logging.
The commissioner said that many illegal logging and other deforestation activities had been ongoing in the state which made the previous administrations to lose control of the state’s forests.
She told NAN that the state government had on Feb.17 inaugurated an 11-man committee to review the State Forestry Law.
She said that the idea was to have a strong and well thought-out Forestry Law, Forestry Policy and other necessary regulations which the state did not have at the moment.
The commissioner said that in the last 25 years, there was no Forestry Law in operation in the state, except the laws inherited from the old Benue and Kwara.
“We sincerely appreciate our governor and the members of the State Executive Council, security agencies and other critical stakeholders for making this remarkable feat possible,’’ she said.
The commissioner listed representatives from Federal Ministry of Environment, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, National Park Service, Forestry Association of Nigeria, academicians, and sister Ministries, Department and Agencies among others as the members of the committee.