Cross River Assembly Resolves To Lifting Ban On Logging, Direct Clerk To Write Governor Otu

In Breaking News, Business & Economy

By Mary Bassey, House of Assembly Correspondent

The Cross River House of Assembly has resolved to lift the ban on logging in the State, directing the Clerk to write to the Governor.

During the plenary Tuesday 4 July 2023, the member representing Boki 1 Constituency, Hon.Obi Philip Bette raised a motion to that effect, positing that it will usher in sustainable management of the State’s tropical rainforest.

In his presentation, Hon. Bette decried the high rate of deforestation across the state forests.

According to the Lawmaker, “the State Government had placed a temporary embargo on logging about 16 years ago, but instead of preserving the forest, the embargo has rather led to massive illegal logging by criminals.

“Regrettably most of the State’s timber is being carted away to neighboring States like Ebonyi thus, improving the economy of those States to the detriment of Cross River.

“As a member of the State Assembly, I know there is a law that has been passed by the State Assembly called Cross River State Forestry Law, and is very rich if you go through it, it does not include a ban or moratorium but it has been kept it aside so it is on that basis that I say we should remove the ban.”

The Lawmakers in their various contributions to the debate observed that the motion was very timely and that the embargo should be lifted so as to stop the huge loss of the State’s much-needed revenue to criminals.

They further reiterated that the purpose for which the embargo was imposed has not been achieved, rather the forest faces severe threats from the activities of illegal loggers.

The members emphasized that proper management of the forests will also lead to job creation for the teeming unemployed youths as well as boost the economy.

Wrapping up opinions, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Elvert Ayambem averred that “the preponderance of opinion supported the lifting of the embargo.”

He further directed the Clerk of the House to forward the decision of the House to the State Governor for implementation.

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