The Kwara State Timber Chainsaw Millers Association (KSTCMA) has decried the loss of several millions of naira in revenue to illegal activities of foreigners who are invading forests in the state.
The Secretary of KSTCMA, Adetunji Muritala, in a chat with North Central Trust, also described the activities of charcoal dealers in the state, saying it was counter-productive.
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Muritala said, “The presence of foreigners from Niger and other countries across the state’s forests is alarming, because it poses a threat to the state’s economy.
“We are still faced with the illegal activities of charcoal dealers in the state. In other states, governments maintain their forests against intruders, but in Kwara, the situation needs improvement.
“Successive governments haven’t been doing much to curb deforestation in the state. Charcoal operators are still plying their illegal trade.”
He, therefore, charged the Kwara State Government to come up with a good policy on afforestation and put in place a task force to send the illegal foreign millers on Kwara soil away.
He further said, “We want the Kwara State Government to plant trees. They should send all these foreigners in the bush away by setting up a regulatory body to curtail their excesses.”
When contacted on phone, the Director of Forestry in the Ministry of Environment in the state, Alhaji Idris Mahmud Babatunde,n said, “Anybody can allege anything, it may be right or wrong, but we cannot just give information like that. You have to come to the ministry.”
However, the director was not on seat when our correspondent visited the ministry.