In a bid to ensure discipline within the rank and file of forest guards in Ondo State, the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry, Mr. Olayato Aribo yesterday charged officers in charge of security in all the forest reserves to depart from old practices and champion new agenda that would add value to the system.
The Commissioner spoke in a meeting held with foresters at the ministry’s headquarters in Akure.
While charging them to be diligent on duty, Mr Aribo emphasized that absence from duty without permission, lateness to duty post and loitering around the headquarters would not be condoned.
He added that the number of logs released must be commensurated with revenue generated.
The Commissioner according to a statement by Sola Omoboyowa, Press Officer, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry informed the officers that Log Evacuation Schedule (LES) and Log Certificate (LC) are compulsory from now and warned against re-use of LC or LES, as well as use of hammer without issuing LES or LC.
Mr. Aribo also charged foresters especially the uniformed men to ensure they report illegal activities in their various beats to the appropriate quarters for action.
He said government frown at movement of Timber trucks and flitch-sawn plant between 7:00pm and 6:00am, warning the task force not to hesitate to arrest offenders.
Mr. Aribo warned those who were encroaching into government forests to desist or face the full wrath of law.
The Commissioner noted that government policy allowed payment of tenancy on cocoa farms that were planted over 5 years ago but erecting buildings in the forest reserve was prohibited. According to him, flitching in forest reserves was prohibited and on no account should millaina be destroyed.
The Commissioner emphasized that entering the Queen and Buffer forests remains prohibited and directed Akure Zonal Office Joint Task Force (JTF) to watch out for any breach.
Earlier, the Administrative Secretary, Mr. Oluseyi Adesusi, said that the Forestry Department of the ministry was noted for revenue collection and promised that officers in the department would cooperate with the Commissioner to achieve success and make meaningful impact to the system.
Speaking on behalf of the officers, Head of Forestry Uniformed, Chief Forestry Superintendent, Raphael Ehinmetan appreciated the Commissioner for meeting with them and promised that they will cooperate with the Commissioner and management to achieve the desire goals.
He pleaded with the Commissioner to look into challenges facing officers in their various beats so that the morale of officers would be high, which he said would go a long way at achieving set goals.