The Ogun State Government has promised to redouble efforts aimed at eliminating illegal logging and other activities that are detrimental to the survival of trees and seedlings planted in all its nine forest reserves in the State.
Permanently Secretary, Ministry of Forestry, Mr. Timothy Olatunji stated this while fielding questions from a private television station, adding that the menace of illegal logging and other illicit activities in the Omo Forest Reserves in Ijebu East Local Government Area of the State in particular and other reserves were part of the challenges which were not peculiar to the area alone.
Speaking on the efforts by the Ministry deployed to checkmate the menace, the Permanent Secretary said, over 150 forest guards had been deployed to Omo Forest Reserves to safeguard boundary areas and put illegal logging under check.
He said that the government also planned to incorporate the use of an automated platform that would eliminate fraudulent practices in the area of logging operations, engagement of services of security personnel such as the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Army, ‘Amotekun’, So-Safe Corps, and local vigilantes for patrol and protection.
Speaking further on the government’s intervention towards ensuring reforestation as a result of illegal logging, Mr. Olatunji noted that between 2004 and 2019 a total of 4,578.3 hectares were planted with trees out of which 2,481.8 hectares were planted in Omo Forest Reserves.
He said, ‘’In 2023, the State government planted 1, 894,511 trees, while Omo Forest Reserve planted 944,939 trees.