Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
As part of the plans to design implementable policies on finished woods export, the federal government yesterday set up a national emergency committee on afforestation.
The Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, during the inauguration in Abuja, said that the 24-member committee was tasked to design policy statements and strategies that would curtail deforestation of the nation’s forest landscape.
The minister condemned intensive logging of woods due to its negative impact on the ecosystem, adding that the activities have resulted to drastic reduction of the country’s forest cover from 10 per cent during independence to less than 5 per cent cover at present.
Muhammed stated: “The task before the committee is onerous, requiring commitment and dedication to a call for national service.
“The 3.5 per cent rate of deforestation per annum is unacceptable if we must achieve sustainable development and environmental sustainability,
“The suspension of the issuance of CITES permits from January – March is to provide the enabling period for the ministry to come up with a policy direction to addressing the issues of forest degradation in the country,” she said.
On his part, the Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Ahmed Abdulkadir restated the committee’s resolve to meet up within set four weeks deadline.
When asked if the committee was another talk show, he said, “We have up to 4 weeks to conclude our assignments even with up to 24 members. Eventually, we will segment them into groups to hasten up our assignments.
“I don’t think it is a talk because I personally have tried to avoid talk shows. So I have not been involved in so many ways; unless I confirm you are serious about what you intend to do, I don’t get involved.”
“The committee is to work out acceptable policies that will regulate the export of processed woods in the country,” he added.