Nasarawa State Government has arrested 30 trucks transporting charcoal to Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Mr Yakubu Kwanta, Commissioner of Environment and Natural Resources made the disclosure when he conducted newsmen to supervise the trucks on Thursday (February 17, 2022) at Uke in Karu Local Government Area (LGA) of the State.
The Commissioner explained that the State Government had in 2021 banned production and use of charcoal in commercial quantity to protect forest reserves and its resources.
According to Mr Kwanta, some unpatriotic elements continued to threaten the resources of the 36 forest reserves across the State by cutting down trees for production of charcoal despite the ban.
“The cutting down of trees by these elements has continued to deplete the forest resources on daily basis and can no longer be tolerated.
“Since the pronouncement of the ban on the directive of Governor Abdullahi Sule, the ministry has apprehended violators at Akwanga, Lafia and today in Karu transporting charcoal from different parts of the State,” the Commissioner added.
He said the government considered the acts of the violators as economic and environmental sabotage and they would face the full wrath of the law to serve as deterrent to others.
He explained that the government has not prevented locals from picking twigs and branches of tress as energy source for cooking and other domestic needs.
Kwanta however, said the government would not tolerate the merchandise of the forest resources by unscrupulous individuals in the guise of addressing poverty.
He said that the ministry would beam its searchlight on locals on the habit of conniving with charcoal merchants and if caught would be dealt with according to the law.
He appealed to stakeholders in the State especially community leaders to cooperate with the government to protect the forest and wildlife.
He also expressed gratitude to the security agencies for supporting the ministry in enforcing the ban and urged them to sustain the support. (NAN)