Members of the Association of Charcoal Producers and Exporters in Ekiti State have condemned the activities of illegal loggers in the state.
The State Chairman, Mr Isaac Olaniyan, harped on the need to replenish forests by planting and replanting trees in view of their importance to the ecosystem.
Olaniyan, who spoke at the Igede Farm Settlement during the association’s tree-planting project on Saturday, said planting trees would boost agriculture and revenue for the government.
The charcoal producers’ boss, said, “The association is embarking on this project of planting more trees like teak, gmelima, and others in the farm settlement as our contribution to the development of agriculture in Ekiti State and to support the good work of Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji. We have been doing it for some years now
He urged illegal charcoal business practitioners to turn in new leaves and seek means of playing the business legally on time so that they could join hands together in Ekiti State.
Olaniyan, pleaded with the state government to put in more efforts “to ensure security in the forests to stop the activities of the illegal loggers and as well for the safety of all stakeholders including their members moving from one bush or forest to another.”
The patron of the association, Chief Kolawole Osasona, said, “We are planting trees as part of our corporate social responsibilities to the government. The government is pleased with the programme. If the government gives us land, we are prepared to go beyond this. Our members pay taxes and all necessary dues.
Also, a member, Mrs. Olanrewaju Akinrinlola, said, “We are here to plant trees for the government. We bought the seeds from the government and we are here planting them for the government.