Towards making its wood products economic viable and export worthy, the Ogun State Government is planning to stop exploitation of forestry products for the next five years to nurture its forest reserves.
The State Commissioner for Forestry, Chief Kolawole Lawal made this known during an oversight visit by the State House of Assembly Committee on Agriculture and Forestry to assess the Ministry’s 2017 budget performance in Abeokuta.
Lawal pointed out that the closure of the forest reserves had became inevitable so as to ensure that trees among other forest products were adequately conserved to attain full maturity before exploitation, saying their full grown up was a veritable feature in determining the economic value of any tree especially at the international market.
The Commissioner said the size of trees being fell across the State forest reserves in recent time were seriously under girth, explaining that if they could be conserved to attain standard girth, the State could reinforce its status towards becoming the hub for quality forest products that would attract foreign investors and bring about increase in its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
He affirmed that the incessant and undue exploitation of the State-owned forest reserves had compelled the government to outlaw ‘flitches’ operations and movement of round logs from the State to other States.
In his response, the Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, Hon. Harrison Adeyemi pledged the House’s readiness to work hand in hand with the Ministry towards conserving State-owned forest reserves for socio-economic development and environmental sustainability of the State.