The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has donated six toolkits to federal government for retrieving finger/palm marks evidence on ivory.
The minister of environment,Suleiman Hassan Zarma, stated this in Abuja yesterday at the official handover of the toolkits to Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The toolkits has the forensic capability to detect and document fingerprints/palm marks including source of any person that came into contact with an illegally traded ivory.
Zarma noted that the organisation donated the toolkits during the 2018 International Wildlife Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trafficking (IWT) in October at London.
He was hopeful that the toolkits would aid easy identification of the fingerprints of those responsible for illegal smuggling of ivory and other criminal activities linked to ivory trade in Nigeria.
The minister said though Nigeria has been able to curtail activities of illegal poaching given that her elephants were amongst the most protected in the world, the impact of globalisation has predisposed Nigeria as a thriving hub for Illegal export of ivory.
Zarma pointed out that illegal wildlife trade has become an urgent global issue that is threatening some of the world’s most iconic species with extinction besides damaging economic growth and sustainable development.
He maintained that the recent seizures of Ivory and Pangolin scales in Hong Kong and Vietnam purported to have been exported from Nigeria is an embarrassment, adding that there was the need to plug the loopholes to protect Nigeria from being used as a transit hub.
Responding, the deputy comptroller of NCS, Hammi Swomen, assured that he would drive against illegal trading of endangered species even as he acknowledged the close cooperation between the ministry, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) and the service.
He vowed to deploy the toolkits to the exist points, relevant seaports, border stations and airport, just as he pointed out that Nigeria has expansive borders with lots of illegal routes used for smuggling.
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