Stakeholders advocate strict enforcement of forestry laws

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Stakeholders in forestry on Thursday advocated the strict enforcement of forestry laws, to check increasing rate of deforestation in the country.

They stakeholders made the advocacy in a communiqué signed by the Oyo State Chairman, Forestry Association of Nigeria (FAN), Mr Kayode Ariori, after a one-day symposium organised by the association.

The title of the symposium held in Ibadan was: “State of Forest, Forest Industry in Oyo State: Matters Arising and Way Forward.”

The symposium was attended by the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Ibadan’s Director-General, Prof. Adeshola Adepoju and the Provost, Federal College of

Forestry (FCF), Ibadan, Dr Funmilayo Aderounmu.

Others were FAN’s National Secretary, Prof. Olukayode Ogunsowo, Chairman, Charcoal Association of Nigeria, Oyo State, Alhaji Ibrahim Ayeriyina; Chairman, Saw Millers Association, Alhaji Kabiru Olajide, Oyo State; a forester, Dr David Ladipo and others.

The stakeholders emphasised that forest industry should be resuscitated and overhauled with modern equipment procured.

They equally suggested serious staff training in improved technology of wood utilization, saying this would contribute to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as reduce unemployment.

They stated that government should release fund as and when due to sponsor planting programmes.

“There should be an enabling act to make forest policy work; private forestry should be encouraged.

“The Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN) should resuscitate extension services available for private sectors interested in forestry and create awareness on forestry sustainable management.

“All stakeholders should work together for sustainability of forestry; land use act should be reviewed to accommodate the interest of forestry and its industry.

“FAN should have sub-technical committee on different forest issues. There should be specialised training courses for stakeholders and all stakeholders should work together for sustainability of forestry,” they stated.

According to the stakeholders, the Federal Government should allow professionals to formulate and execute policies in accordance with the extant rules and regulations.

They added that proper monitoring, evaluation of funds released and project report should be submitted and appraised regularly.

“Comprehensive modern database should also be kept in a systematic way that will be accessible,” they stated.