Cross River leg­is­la­tors call for im­por­ta­tion of wood prod­ucts

Daily Trust - - ENVIRONMENT - From Eyo Charles, Cal­abar

Aris­ing from acute short­age of woods and their al­lied by-prod­ucts in the state, mem­bers of the Cross River State House of As­sem­bly have called on the Forestry Com­mis­sion of the state to en­cour­age deal­ers and other stake­hold­ers to im­port pro­cessed tim­ber into the state.

The short­age of woods was oc­ca­sioned by the ban on wood log­ging by the state govern­ment as a way of pre­serv­ing the vast forests in the state.

Ud­uak Ak­iba Eyo, a two-time mem­ber rep­re­sent­ing Cal­abar Mu­nic­i­pal­ity State Con­stituency moved the mo­tion on the floor of the hal­lowed cham­ber.

The as­sem­bly said both the state law­mak­ers and those at federal level should in­ter­face with rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers to dis­cuss is­sues of tim­ber ex­ploita­tion and im­por­ta­tion.

The House called on the Forestry Com­mis­sion and its agents to al­low pri­vate or­gan­i­sa­tions to im­port partly pro­cessed wood from neigh­bor­ing states and coun­tries into Cross River State, be­liev­ing that this would dis­cour­age deal­ers and other stake­hold­ers from smug­gling it into the state at grave con­se­quences.

The law­mak­ers con­tended that giv­ing en­cour­age­ment to tim­ber im­porters would strengthen the UN-REDD pro­gramme which the state won a ro­bust fi­nan­cial award from, a cou­ple of years ago and has been a leading player in that sec­tor.

Ud­uak Ak­iba Eyo, said plans to im­port partly pro­cessed tim­ber would not go against any state govern­ment’s pol­icy, re­fer­ring the Forestry Com­mis­sion to the ap­pli­ca­tion from the As­so­ci­a­tion of Tim­ber Deal­ers.

Ak­iba Eyo stated that the pro­posed im­por­ta­tion of partly pro­cessed tim­ber would boost the econ­omy and cre­ate jobs for the youths.

Ar­gu­ing in sup­port of the mo­tion, the mem­ber rep­re­sent­ing Boki II State Con­stituency, Ja­cob Otu Enyia said the state govern­ment con­sti­tuted the Task Force on Anti- De­for­esta­tion to pro­tect the eco-sys­tem, not­ing that the pol­icy was bring­ing hard­ship to the cit­i­zenry.

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