Edo State Government, on Tuesday, sealed 23 sawmills for being in possession of 279 illegal logs believed to have been harvested from several state’s forests without permission from the necessary quarters.
Announcing the closures, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Sustainability, Mr Lucky Wasa, told journalists that the illegal logs were taken from Edo State Forest Reserves at odd hours by the loggers, whom he vowed would be brought to book.
To forestall future occurrence, Wasa said that Forest Officers and Uniform Field Staff would henceforth be running shifts to curtail the activities of the illegal loggers.
The Permanent Secretary called on saw millers and lorry owners “not to accept illegal logs as the full weight of the law would be brought to bear on any defaulter.”
He solicited the support of saw millers and timber contractors in the state to partner with the state government in “the state government’s afforestation programme.”
According to him, 242 logs stolen from the creeks of Edo State were intercepted by a crack team led by the Head of Log Control, Mr Felix Edokpayi, as they were being carted away to a neighbouring state.
The logs, Wasa added, were taken to the Marine Police, pending further investigation.
He disclosed that the state government had scheduled a meeting to be held this week for all saw millers in Benin City, adding that the meeting which was at the instance of the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mr Osarodion Ogie, as part of the efforts at curbing the activities of illegal loggers in the state.
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