The Ondo State Government said it spent over N500 million on forestry development in the state in the past five years.
Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu stated this on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, during the 43rd annual conference of Forestry Association of Nigeria (FAN) in Akure, the state capital.
The theme of the three-day conference is “Securing the Nigeria’s Forest Estate for Sustainable Development.”
Akeredolu, represented by his Deputy, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, said the amount was expended on conservation and preservation of state forest estate, regeneration programme, regular anti-encroachment drives, law control and protection.
He said his administration would not relent in its quest at ensuring that all forest reserves were protected and preserved for the benefit of the people in the 18 local government areas of the state.
Akeredolu said the conference was timely in providing possible solutions to further preserve the forest and make it safe from criminal elements.
The governor also commended the efforts of all security agencies in the state, including the state security network, known as Amotekun, for their roles in ensuring that the state forests were protected from hoodlums.
He emphasised that securing the forest estate would help promote communal peace in the country.
“It is a known fact that when the forest is well secured, forest resources will be preserved for the use of our people,” he said.
Earlier, the President, Forestry Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Ahmad Ibrahim, represented by Prof. Samuel Udofia, said God had given man proper and effective way to protect the forest for future generation.
Ibrahim said the country’s forest was open and had not been given effective management as it should, hence the reason it haboured hoodlums.
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of an award to the governor on his relentless efforts in safeguarding and preserving the state forest reserves.
By Segun Giwa