The Niger State Government Task Force on forest exploitation has confiscated about 500 bags of charcoal from dealers of the commodity in the state.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ahmed Ibrahim Matane, who made the disclosure in Minna said the seized commodity would be auctioned to the public.
He warned that the government would not hesitate to deal decisively with anyone caught engaged in indiscriminate felling of trees for charcoal and timber in the state.
Matane said, ” The act of felling of trees in the name of charcoal and timber remains a threat to the community. Soil erosion, desertification and land degradation are some of the challenges faced by the people as a result of indiscriminate felling of trees”.
He noted that despite several efforts by the government to stop the trend, a few unscrupulous elements are still undermining such efforts, insisting that Government would not rest on its oars in ensuring the full protection of forests in the State.
The state government spokesman also solicited the support of traditional rulers, community leaders and other stakeholders to cooperate with the government in combating the menace in the state.
The SSG then urged the Ministry of Environment and the Task Force on Forest Exploitation in the state to intensify effort towards putting an end to such incidents while assuring of government continued support and cooperation to succeed.
Decrying the act, the Coordinator, State Task Force on Forest Exploitation, Saidu Alfa said the felling of trees in the name of charcoal remains a threat to society.
He expressed optimism that under the present administration the culture would be fought accordingly.
The Coordinator also disclosed that the commodity would be auctioned to the general public at N1, 000 per bag, adding that the money realized would be given to the Board of Internal Revenue.