Niger State Task Force on Forest Exploitation has auctioned about 500 bags of charcoal confiscated from dealers of the commodity in the state.
Speaking at the occasion, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ahmed Ibrahim Matane warned that government would not hesitate to deal decisively with anyone caught engaged in indiscriminate felling of trees for charcoal and timber thereby causing desertification in the state.
Ahmed Matane further explained that soil erosion, desertification and land degradation are some of the challenges faced by the people as a result of indiscriminate felling of trees, lamenting that the act of felling of trees in the name of charcoal and timber remains a threat to the community.
He pointed out that despite several efforts embarked upon by the government in fighting the trend, a few unscrupulous elements are undermining such efforts, and therefore government would not rest on its oars in ensuring the full protection of forests in the state.
The SSG solicited the support of traditional rulers, community leaders and other stakeholders to cooperate with the government in combating the menace, just as he commended the efforts of the State Task Force on Forest Exploitation for doing a great job.
Matane then called on the Ministry of Environment and the Task Force on Forest Exploitation in the state, to intensify efforts towards putting an end to this unfortunate incident, while assuring them of government’s continued support and cooperation to succeed.
Also speaking, the coordinator, Niger State Task Force on Forest Exploitation, Saidu Alfa, decried that the act of felling of trees in the name of charcoal, remains a threat to the society, but expressed optimism that under the present administration the culture would be fought accordingly.
The coordinator revealed that the commodity would be auctioned to the general public at N1, 000 per bag, stressing that the money realised would be given to the Board of Internal Revenue.