The National Charcoal Producers, Dealers and Exporters Association of Nigeria (NACPDEAN),weekend harped on the need for better protection of the environment.
It gave assurance to embark on massive afforestation to complement and reduce the depletion of trees caused by deforestation.
The newly elected president of NACPDEAN, Edu Babatunde, gave the assurance while fielding questions from journalists after it’s national elections and the adoption of national working constitution held at the Ministry of Trade and Investment in Abuja.
Babatunde stated that the earlier ban on charcoal exportation by the federal government was due to the poor afforestation nationwide, which is detrimental to the environment.
He stated that NACPDEAN is enforcing the need for tree planting to bridge any gap that may arise after deforestation.
He said: “The reason why the government earlier put a ban on charcoal is because there was no massive afforestation to sustain the business but we are going into serious afforestation where we are not just going to plant the trees and leave them to die, but nurture them and also plant tree crops. This will create more empowerment and employment because without forest cover, we cannot sustain our businesses.
“Charcoal is not just about felling trees, we shall be planting more trees so as to protect our environment and also not destroy economic trees like sheer, mango trees amongst others.”
Babatunde added that the global wood charcoal market revenue amounted to $24.2 billion and by 2019, Nigeria was rated second among countries with the highest charcoal trade value in the world after Indonesia, with $73.2 million annual earning followed by Ukraine and Vietnam.
Earlier, the chairman, electoral committee of the association, Lawan Ali, stated that high quality Nigerian charcoal exported to Russia is being used to produce medicine for the detoxification of the liver.
He said Russian has now become the largest market for Nigerian charcoal as it imports the product for a number of purposes such as heat generation and the production of medicine that is used to detoxify the liver, further creating a huge market demand for wood charcoal.
“Russia is a very cold country, so, they use our charcoal to generate heat that will keep their environment warm. Also, according to some of them, if you are taking the charcoal tablet according to the prescription of their physicians, you won’t have toxins in the kidney and to my surprise almost all the Russians I met when I travelled to the country, have been taking the tablet,” he said.