FG gets UN equipment to combat wildlife trafficking

The United Nations Office on Drug and Crime has donated wildlife monitoring and enforcement equipment to the Federal Government in a bid to bring an end to wildlife trafficking from Nigeria.

UNODC presented that equipment to the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, which is an organisation of the Federal Government in charge of  combating wildlife trafficking from Nigeria.

The Director-General, NESREA, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, while receiving the equipment in Abuja, said wildlife traffickers now adopt sophisticated methods, stressing that the agency would need standard equipment to tackle this menace.

He noted that the provision of real time equipment would greatly enhance wildlife monitoring, investigation, intelligence gathering, enforcement, evidence collection, data generation, data management and transmission.

Jauro in a statement issued in Abuja, stated that the government was taking all the necessary steps to rid the country of wildlife crimes, as the recent destruction of seized wildlife stockpiles was intended to discourage perpetrators of the crime.

“It was to also send out the signal that the country would not tolerate any form of wildlife crime on its soil,” the NESREA boss stated.

Jauro said Nigeria had put in place the necessary checks at the borders in the bid to frustrate the activities of those who seek to use the country as a transit hub for illegal shipment of controlled wildlife and their products.

He expressed appreciation to the UNODC and stated that the gadgets would be deployed to the zonal and state field offices of the agency, particularly those areas identified as hotspots for traffickers.

The Programme Officer, UNODC, Folusho Adeleke, commended the efforts of the Federal Government in reducing the rate of wildlife crime in Nigeria.

She said NESREA, as the CITES enforcement authority in the country, would continue to receive the support it needs to achieve its mandate.

The equipment donated to the agency, according to the statement, include GPS trackers, digital binoculars, digital video camera, laptops and desktops, weighing scales, walkie talkies, foot wears, magnifying lens, digital camera binoculars, calipers, etc.

In another development, the agency explained why it sealed Jui Jui Universal Investment Company, a charcoal production and export firm located at Agwada Community in Nasarawa State.

It said, “Following a deluge of complaints by residents of Agwada on the activities of the company, NESREA carried out an inspection of the facility.

“The compliance monitoring visit revealed that the company was operating without the necessary environmental documents including Environmental Impact Assessment, Air Quality Permit, Environmental Audit Report, and Waste Management Permit.

“These regulatory requirements are important guides for maintaining standards in all facilities and are perquisites for the establishment of any facility. The EIA particularly guides a facility on how to mitigate any negative impact on the environment caused by its operations.”

The agency stated that in view of the obvious irregularities in the operations of the company, it issued a stop-work order and advised the operators to abate the environmental infractions.

“The company, however, violated the stop work order and carried on with their operations without regard to the environment and human health. This necessitated the sealing of the facility by NESREA on the directive of the Director-General, who frowned at the non-compliance of the facility to the detriment of the people and their environment.

“The DG enjoins Nigeria to speak up against any company or individual indulging in activities that portend environmental hazard.”

Credit Gist New Today News in Newspaper Nigeria Headlines

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