Cross River State Governor, Bassey Otu has reiterated his administration’s commitment to fighting illegal logging and other adverse environmental activities in the state.
Otu made this known on Monday during an on-the- spot-inspection of 32 impounded trucks with illegal timber at Ejiraga in Yala Local Government Area, CRS, the border community with Ebonyi State.
Represented at the scene of the seized trucks by his Chief of Staff, Emmanuel Ironbar, the governor warned all illegal loggers to use the window of opportunity offered by the state government to regularize their operations in the state.
He decried the devastation to the rich biodiversity of the state occasioned by the criminal logging of the forest reserves in Cross River, warning of stiff penalties against the perpetrators.
The impounding of the 32 trucks, he added, is a demonstration of his government’s determination to match words with action. While commending the Anti-Deforestation Committee for their prompt action in impounding the trucks, he enjoined forest bearing communities to assist the government by providing vital information to assigned agencies and desist from assisting illegal loggers and wildlife poachers and smugglers to deplete the forests.
Furthermore, the governor has directed all owners of seized trucks with illegal sawn timber/logs to report to the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Cross River State Forestry Commission, within seven days for necessary compounding of their trucks. Failure to adhere to this directive, government insists, will lead to the final confiscation and auction of the impounded trucks and timbers.
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