Ogun State Commissioner for Forestry, Hon. Taiwo Oladotun has promised to continue to sensitise members of the public on the need to stop deforestation activities in the State forest reserves.
Such activities, according to Hon. Oludotun include illegal mining, cutting of flitches, encroachment by Fulani herdsmen and killing of wildlife, among others.
The Commissioner made the promise while playing host to officials of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Abuja, adding that his agency would not relent until the illegal activities in the State forest reserves were eradicated.
Hon. Oludotun who identified bad roads and communication networks, large land mass and the menace of Fulani herdsmen, among others as factors hindering effective monitoring of the forests, called on the Federal Government to complement the State government’s effort in proffering solutions to the challenges.
He said ‘’apart from degrading the forest reserves, the illegal dwellers have chased away wild animals which had in the past served as tourist attractions to both local and international visitors. However, the assistance of the military and paramilitary personnel had brought these unwholesome acts to the barest minimum”.
Hon. Oludotun stated that the Ministry would approach the State House of Assembly for a bill to review forestry law and update the same for immediate implementation, imploring the Federal Government to forward enabling laws to the State Houses of Assembly for quick passage and implementation, and called for the intervention of the armed forces to keep special visits to forest areas throughout the country.
On afforestation, the Commissioner stated that the Ministry had allocated land to some timber contractors for the planting of trees, while a request for seedlings had been forwarded to the Federal department of Forestry.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry, Dr. Rotimiolu Akinlesi appreciated the team, expressing hope that the visit would be beneficial to all stakeholders.
In her remarks, the leader of the delegation and an Assistant Director, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs. Alaba Adzandeh said the team was in the State in response to a request for assistance on deforestation issues being experienced by some States and over-exploitation of natural resources in forest reserves.
Adzandeh assured that the Ministry would collaborate with the State government in achieving a common goal.