By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The Kwara State Government is to set up a task force to checkmate illegal tree felling as well as the production, transportation and sale of charcoal in the State.
The State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed made this known on Monday when he signed into law an amendment bill prohibiting the production, transportation, storage or sale of charcoal in the State.
According to him, the amendment was necessitated by the need to strengthen existing laws against charcoal production and transportation in a bid to protect the environment and preserve our natural resources, especially valuable cash crops that can boost the state’s economy.
The amendment bill, which was recently passed by the House of Assembly seeks to protect the State’s eco-system and save it from prevailing desertification occasioned by indiscriminate felling of trees in different parts of the state.
Under the new law, any person who contravenes its provision shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N100,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.
In addition, the person shall also forfeit to the State Government the charcoal and any vehicle, equipment or implement used in the commission of the offence.