The federal government on Tuesday announced that it has suspended the ban on wood exports. The suspension came with very stringent guidelines some of which include the issuance of a new international trade certification.
Other guidelines include the current rule to cut one tree and plant five trees’. This is a policy which is intended to arresting deforestation and preserving the Nigerian environment.
The Director of Forestry at the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr. Philip Bankole, who disclosed this, said Nigeria as a country risks massive deforestation if it does not control the way and manner woods are cut and exported to other countries.
Bankole added that the federal government had raised concerns on the degradation of the environment due the activities of wood exporters who cut down trees without re-planting.
However, he stated that the lifting of the ban was partial after which government will further review the situation and know what next to do with regards to wood exports.
He explained that the forest is being conserved not only for wood export, but for other purposes, adding that Nigeria has fallen short of reserving about 25 per cent of its land for forest reservation which currently stands at less than five per cent.
Furthermore, he said that the solution to this problem is to plant more trees. These may include the Iroko, the Obeche, the Mahogany, Ebony trees, which he said have all disappeared.
Bankole said government frowns at a situation where woods are being exported raw without any value addition.
The director said: “There is a need to add value at every stage of processing these woods for export, at every stage of production, you are creating labour within the country, and you are reducing poverty. So the concern of government is that if you cut one tree, you must plant five to replace it so as to safe guard the future of unborn generation.”