By Steve Oni, IlorinWorried by the indiscriminate felling of trees in Kwara state, two bills for laws to prohibit the Production, Transportation, Storage or Sale of charcoal and prescription of the planting back of trees, tariff have been passed into law by the state House of Assembly.
Under the amended Charcoal law, it is now an offence to not only produce charcoal, but to transport, sell or warehouse it in the state.
On the amended Chains Saw Men law, it seeks to check the flagrant violation of the old law by increasing fine from N50,000 to N100,000, or 2 years imprisonment or both, while registration of chain saw men under the amended law is now raised from N30,000 to N90,000.
Renewal fee has also been increased from N20,000 to N60,000 to ensure replanting and nurturing of trees to check deforestation in the state.
Speaking after the passage of the two bills, the Deputy Speaker, Chief Mathew Okedare who presided over the Thursday’s sitting, praised members for their commitment in ensuring timely passage of the 2 bills.
While directing the Clerk of the House, Alhaji Ahmed Katsina Mohammed to prepare clean copy for the Governor’s assent, he enjoined the governor to ensure prompt assent of the two bills to preserve the state’s eco-system.
Also speaking on the passage of the two bills, the Chairman House Committee on Health and Environment,Hon. Ahmed Ibn Mohammed expressed delight over the passage of the bills, pointing out that all loopholes in the old laws had been blocked to prevent global warming and other attendant consequences of indiscriminate felling of trees in the state.
It would be recalled that the Speaker, Dr. Ali Ahmad had while presiding over the public hearing on the two bills, assured that all Stakeholders’ inputs would be reflected in the bills, pointing out that no responsible government would fail to check indiscriminate destruction of nature for production of charcoal without any replacement.
Dr Ahmad then called on the executive arm of government to provide needed logistics to ensure proper monitoring and enforcement of the two amended laws