By Mike Adeyemi
The Kwara State Timber Chain Sawmillers Association has cried out to the State Government to put an end to the invasion of forests by foreigners.
The President of the association, Alhaji Babatunde Magaji during a chat with newsmen in his office, recently, lamented over the development.
According to him, “the presence of foreigners from Niger and other countries in the forests in the state is alarming, hence poses threats to Kwara economy.
“The challenges before us in the state is enormous, part of which are the presence of aliens in the bush that ply their trade without check or regulations by the government.
“All the forests across Kwara State have been invaded by people who are not from Kwara; people from Niger and white men from other countries are destroying our forest.
“How can we allow foreigners to be toying with Kwara’s source of revenue to develop their own countries. They cuts trees indiscriminately without recourse to the laid down procedures,” Magaji lamented
He further said “Early this year, our association had a meeting with the Commissioner of Environments and Forestry where we laid before him this observed challenges. He pledged to take a proactive step on it, but the emergence of Covid-19 pandemics perhaps posed hiatus to that.’
He added that Kwara timber chain sawmill ranks as one of the best sources through which the state generates her IGR.
According to him the union remits about N4 million monthly to state government coffers.
Magaji however charged the Kwara State Government to come up with a good policy on afforestation and put in place a task force to send the foreigners away from the state.
“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.
Also speaking, the Secretary of the association, Olomu Collins asked the state government to clamp down on charcoal dealers in the state as their activities are illegal and exposes the soil surface to erosion via deforestation.
By Mike Adeyemi