Ekiti State Government has lifted the ban imposed on logging activities in Ekiti West Local Government Area of the State about four months ago.
The State Commissioner for Environment, Chief Bisi Kolawole who made this known during a meeting with members of the Timber Trade Association in Ado Ekiti recalled that Government suspended logging activities in the area to curtail the persistent illegal activities of timber merchants in the area.
Kolawole stressed that the State Government would no longer tolerate unlawful collusion between fraudulent individuals or group of people and Forestry Officials emphasizing that the Forest Guards that were hitherto overseeing the local Government Area have been suspended and replaced by three new guards.
Cautioning all stakeholders against engaging in any act that may be detrimental to Government’s plan to develop the State, the Commissioner stressed that contractors should not abuse the gesture of reopening the forest for logging activities adding that attacks on
Forest Officers and other relevant government officials in the course of performing their official duties would be decisively dealt with according to the law.
He therefore warned all stakeholders to ensure that all necessary permits are duly obtained before commencement of any logging activity saying that the arrangement would enable Government to keep track of forestry activities in order to ensure proper replacement of the fast
depleting forests as well as boost the internally generated revenue of the State.
Responding, the State Chairman of Timber Traders Association, Mr. Segun Akinola pledged the cooperation of his members for the efforts of government to develop the State adding that they would abide with all extant forestry laws in the State.
Meanwhile, the State government has set up a 10-man Task Force as part of efforts geared towards eradicating distribution of fake and expired drugs and foods in the State.
The Task Force, headed by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olurotimi Ojo, comprises of representatives of health related government MDAs and security agencies.
Inaugurating the committee in Ado Ekiti, Dr. Ojo explained that it became imperative to set up the Task Force in order to effectively curb the spread of counterfeit drugs and food which are responsible for most premature and avoidable deaths in the State.
The Commissioner highlighted the functions of the task-force to include confiscating any drug displayed for sale in premises not duly licensed or registered to handle such medicine, ensuring that processed food displayed for sale are not only certified by appropriate authorities but also fit for human consumption as well as ensuring that expired items are not displayed for sale.
Dr. Ojo illustrated counterfeit drugs to include any medicine that has been deliberately and fraudulently mislabeled in respect of identity and source adding that it could apply to both branded and generic products.
According to him, wrong labeling of incorrect ingredient and fake packaging also amount to counterfeiting.
He listed the effects of injecting fake drugs and food to comprise antibiotic resistance, therapeutic failure as well as toxic effects which often lead to death.