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Edo govt seals 34 saw mills over illegal logs

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By Nosa Akenzua, Benin

Determined to stamp out illegality, the Edo state government, at the weekend, sealed off 34 saw mills over in possession of 297 illegal logs said to have been harvested from several forests without permission from the necessary quarters.

Mr Lucky Wasa, the state ministry of environment permanent secretary, who confirmed this to our correspondent in Benin, said that the illegal logs were felled and taken away from Edo State Forest Reserves at odd hours, disclosing that the culprits would be brought to book and prosecuted at all costs.

Noting that the frequent activities of illegal loggers was becoming rampant, Wasa explained that forest officers and uniformed field staff would, thenceforth, be running shifts to curtail the activities of the illegal loggers in the state, especially during rainfall when people are already asleep.

He, however, called on saw millers and lorry owners not to accept illegal logs as the full weight of the law would fall on any defaulters who may regard the warnings as nothing but mere talks. “We are appealing to those involved in the illegality to desist from such activities, especially saw millers and timber contractors in the state to ensure that they are involved in genuine business to help the state government.”

Meanwhile, 242 logs stolen from the creeks of Edo state that were taken to a neighbouring state have been intercepted by a crack team led by head of log control, Mr Felix Edokpayi, as the logs are currently in the custody of the marine police.

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