Governor Abubakar Sani Bello on Monday inaugurated an administrative panel to investigate an allegation of illegal issunce of license to Wood Merchants
Niger State Governor Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has inaugurated a 7-man Administrative panel to investigate the allegations of bribery, illegal issuance of license and permits to wood merchants that were involved in felling of trees in the state.
The Governor inaugurated the committee at the Government House, Minna on Monday, with a charge on the members to be passionate in the discharge of their assignment and not to compromise.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, explained that the committee members were carefully selected considering the governor’s passion to ensure a green environment in the state while urging the committee members to be deligent in their investigations not just for the present, but for posterity.
He, however, lamented that most of the wood merchants were not ’Nigerlites’, as such they were taking advantage of the vulnerability and lack of knowledge of the local people to have access to the forest, noting that the state government had since stopped the issuance of a licence to any individual or group of persons to fell trees.
According to him, economic trees like Sheanut, which were said to produce the best charcoals, we’re mostly the target. The practice, the Governor said has adverse, and negative effect on the environment such as desert encroachment which affect water bodies and farmlands.
He, thereby, advocated tree planting to replenish the forest.
Among the terms of reference for the committee was: to investigate the allegations of bribery, issuance of illegal license and permits to wood merchants, charcoal producers and other forest exploiters.
The committee was also to make a thorough investigation into activities of illegal logging and felling of trees, illegal exploitation of forest resources in the state, and to ascertain all those involved and culpable in the illegal activities as well as recommend an appropriate sanction.
Others were: to find out the communities where these illegal activities are taking place, ascertain the extent of illegal logging and exploitation of forest resources in the state and the extent of economic loss to the state government.
The committee has Alhaji Adamu Shuaibu, a former Permanent Secretary in the state, as Chairman and Mallam Danlami Umar, Director Chieftaincy Affairs, Ministry for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs as Secretary.
It has three weeks to complete it’s assignment and submit it’s report for onward action.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Adamu Shuaibu, while responding, assured the governor that they will carry out the assignment diligently.
Other members of the committee were: Mr. Paul Kolo, Mr. Solomon Sule, Kabiru Barau, Alhaji Anaruwa Isah and Suleiman Wushishi were to serve as the legal adviser and assistant secretary respectively.
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