By Ene Asuquo
Cross River State Governor, Prince Bassey Otu has said that his administration is committed to fight illegal logging and other adverse environmental activities in the state.
Prince Otu made this known during an inspection of 32 trucks at the border community with Ebonyi that were loaded with illegal timber recently.
The Governor, represented by his Chief of Staff, Hon. Emmanuel Ironbar, had warned all illegal loggers to use the window of opportunity offered by the government to regularize their operations in the state.
Otu decried the devastation to the rich biodiversity of the state by the criminal logging of the forest reserves in Cross River, warning of stiff penalties against the perpetrators.
He stressed that impounding the 32 trucks is a demonstration of his government’s determination to match words with action.
While commending the Anti-deforestation Committee for their prompt action, he enjoined forest bearing communities to assist the government by providing vital information to assigned agencies and desist from assisting illegal loggers and wildlife poachers and smugglers.
The Governor then directed all owners of seized trucks with illegal sawn timber/logs to report to the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Cross River State Forestry Commission, within 7-days or risk compoundment of their trucks, or face possible auctioning of their trucks and timbers