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Edo govt nabs 3 illegal loggers, recovers stolen timber

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By Nosa Akenzua, Benin

Three notorious illegal loggers have been arrested at the Okomu High Conservation Value area (HCV), with over 35 highly-endangered species of timber, loaded in three timber lorries.

The permanent secretary, ministry of environment, Lucky Wasa, disclosed this during a chat with journalists in Benin City. He added that over 979 logs of various timber species stolen by illegal loggers at the riverine areas of Nikorowa and Gelegele communities, in Ovia South West area of the state, were recovered by the state government.

A detachment of operatives of the ministry’s log control department, in collaboration with concerned Ijaw indigenes from the creeks of Nikiorowa, Okomu Ijaw, Gelegele and security operatives, stormed the riverine areas, along the stretch between Gelegele and Nikorowa, where they discovered the theft and the recovery of the stolen logs.

Meanwhile, the state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki has said that the state government will sustain the drive to industrialise the state and attract more manufacturers, especially as the 55 MW CCCETC Ossiomo Independent Power Plant is now operational. Obaseki, in a statement, said that his administration would continue with the drive to attract and support more investments in the agricultural sector to create more jobs and increase productivity in the state.

He said “With the 55mw CCCETC Ossiomo Independent Power Plant which now operational, we will continue to intensify our efforts to bring more industries to Edo state while we will continue to attract and support more investments in agriculture across the state.” He added that “Following up on many campaign promises to make Edo a hub for technology in sub-Sahara Africa, we have signed our first partnership agreement with a highly rated software engineering company which will culminate in the training of over 15,000 persons in software engineering in Edo by 2025.

The first set of 250 young persons will be on board into the Edo Tech Park Programme by February this year. We will also explore more avenues to sustain employment-creating opportunities for youths by offering them more training and apprenticeship programmes so that they can take advantage of the expansion of the private sector with the influx of new investors.”

The governor reiterated his administration’s commitment “to continue providing durable public infrastructure and a maintenance culture in government as we continue to prioritise development of road infrastructure, public buildings and many projects in our rural and urban areas”.

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