The Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria has confirmed that Nigeria’s forest cover is now depleted to 5% as against the expected minimum value of 25% which is recommended by global agencies such as the United Nations, (U.N).
The Executive Director of the Agency, Dr. Adesola Adepoju, stated this during a courtesy visit to the Government House in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
He, however, lauded the Edo State government for its contribution to forest development in the country.
“Edo State is still one of the stakeholders in the left-over forest cover of the country. Even when our forest cover has been depleted to less than 5% as against the expected minimum of 25%, according to the FAO, U.N and other conventions recommendations.”
Meanwhile, the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has disclosed plans of establishing forestry commission in the state, adding that his administration is set to clamp down on illegal logging activities.
“What we decided and what we have done is to take out forestry and create a forestry commission. And for us, it is urgent and important. We are not unaware of some activities that are going on and threatening our forest, and as a government, we are going to fight back and reclaim our forest”.
The visit is expected to open a window of opportunities for collaboration between the state government and the institute in areas of forest development and employment generation.