The Edo State Government has confiscated 2,375 logs of wood at the Gelegele Seaport as part of efforts to rid the state of illegal loggers.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Mr Lucky Wasa, disclosed this on Sunday, February 13, 2022, in Benin City, the state capital.
He said that a combined team of police operatives, those of Okomu National Park and officials of the ministry intercepted the stolen logs on the waterways in Gelegele in Edo.
“It is true that the Marine Police and officials of the ministry first intercepted 2,162 logs while the culprits fled.
“A week later, some illegal loggers went to Okomu National Park and loaded their lorries with logs, but were intercepted by park officials while the thieves abandoned the loads and fled.
“The perpetrators will be arrested using the registration particulars of their lorries and would be prosecuted in accordance with Forestry Law.
“Meanwhile, officials of the ministry are making arrangements to convey the logs to Benin,’’ Wasa said.
The state government closed its forests seven months ago as part of efforts to sanitise forestry business in the state.
The measure met with protests by timber dealers who claimed that government’s action threatened more than 8,000 jobs in the timber industry in the state.
They expressed sadness over the development, arguing that their licences to access the forests were still valid.
By Kevin Okunzuwa