Dr Ibrahim Goni, the Conservator General (CG), of the National Park Service (NPS) on Sunday, February 12, 2023, in Abuja said that the country’s national parks now record less incidences of poaching.
Goni, who made the disclosure in an interview, added: “To a reasonable extent our national parks as at of now, are facing less incidences of poaching.
“Poaching has a lot of ramifications, you can poach animals, plants and minerals.
“Poaching means taking something illegally from where it is supposed to be,” the CG said.
He attributed the low incidences of poaching in the parks to the renewed commitment of the Service to protect the critical resources as well as the issues of insecurity in parts of the country.
“Poaching is an incident that does not have much impact on our national parks nowadays because of the incidences of insecurity.
“Insecurity has helped us reduce poaching seriously, because most of these people that go for poaching activities are afraid,” the CG said.
Goni, however, noted that it is not all the parks that have incidences of insecurity.
He said that out of the seven parks only three have issues of insecurity; one of which is the Chad Basin National Park, which is between Borno and Yobe states.
“Others are the Kamuku National Park, in Birnin- Gwari, Kaduna State and the Kanji Lake National Park between Niger and Kwara State,” Goni said.
The CG also said that the basic challenge that confronts the national parks are illegal logging and mining.
“Because of the invaders that have constituted themselves into loggers and miners, their presence in those places restrict poachers,” Goni said.
He commended the synergy between the National Parks and the Nigerian Army as well as with other security agencies, in responding to the challenges of insurgency.
“Our immediate response to challenges also helps us to thwart the efforts of poachers or would-be poachers.
“Those National Parks where we do not experience incidences of insecurity, are facing the challenges of logging.
“Bee poaching and grazing; driving of livestocks into the park especially in places like Old Oyo National Park and Gashaka-Gumti National Park,” Goni said.
The CG said that the National Parks at Okomu and Cross River experience incidences of logging.
“We are not resting on our oars, we are working to reduce these incidences, to a reasonable extent because day in, day out perpetrators are being arrested,” Goni said.
He commended the co-operation given the National Parks by the courts of law to discourage illegal activities on the parks through prosecution of poachers and other offenders.
By Abigael Joshua