Cross River legislators call for importation of wood products
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.