The Niger state Task Force on Forest Exploitation has auctioned about 500 bags of charcoal confiscated from illegal dealers in the state at the cost of N1000 per bag.
Speaking at the occasion, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, warned that government would not hesitate to deal with anyone caught engaged in indiscriminate felling of trees for charcoal and timber thereby causing desertification in the state.
He stated that soil erosion, desertification and land degradation are some of the challenges faced by the people as a result of indiscriminate felling of trees and lamented that such act in the name of charcoal and timber remains a threat to the state.
He said: “Despite several efforts by government to fight the trend, a few unscrupulous elements are undermining such efforts. Government would leave not rest on its oars in ensuring the full protection of forests in the state.”
The SSG solicited for the support of traditional rulers, community leaders and other stakeholders to combat the menace. He commended the efforts of the Task Force on Forest Exploitation for doing a great job.
Matane called on the Ministry of Environment and the Task Force on Forest Exploitation to intensify effort towards putting an end to the illegal act.
Also speaking, the coordinator, Niger State Task Force on Forest Exploitation, Saidu Alfa, decried the act of felling trees in the name of charcoal.