By Kehinde Oluwatayo
Ondo State Commissioner for Natural Resources, Alhaji Rasheed Badmus has warned that anyone found encroaching into the state forest reserves after the on oing registration of farmers who illegally occupied the place will be arrested.
He gave the warning in an interview with The Hope in his office during the week.
According to him, government decided to register some farmers who illegally occupied the state forest reserves because government did not just want to send them away warning that whoever found encroaching into the place after the registration will be arrested.
“Before we came in, some farmers have encroached into the state forest reserves and planted all manner of trees there, but when this administration came on board, the state Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) set up some committees to monitor and supervise the place.
“When I came in as the commissioner, we ensured that the committees were functioning very well.Also, the Joint Task Force (JTF) of the ministry is working along with forest officers to ensure that the place is well protected.
“In the course of that, we made some arrest and gave necessary punishment. Government did not just want to send them out of the place, so it came up with registration to ascertain their number and what can be done for them” he explained.
While saying that the registration will end in a couple of months, Badmus assured that government will ensure that the activities of encroachers are gradually brought to an end.
The commissioner also disclosed that regeneration of the forest reserves is done through foreign partners adding that more investors are expected to come so that the degraded area will be regenerated.
“Since 2017, when we came in, we have made a lot of efforts to ensure the regeneration of our forest reserves. And as the dry season sets in, we are planning to raise some trees so that we can plant them when the rain comes again and cover the degraded area.
“We also have some investors that are interested in regenerating the degraded area for us. We will continue to do our best to ensure we have a better reserve as our forefathers planned it,” he assured.
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