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 has read a riot act to officers in charge of providing security in all the forest reserves in the state on the need to depart from the old practices and champion new agenda that would add value to the system.
The Commissioner was speaking at a meeting held with foresters at the ministry’s headquarters in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
While charging officers 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 commensurate with revenue generated.
The Commissioner 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 quarter for action.
He said government frowns 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 are encroaching into government forests to desist or face the full wrath of law. The Commissioner noted that government policy allowed the payment of tenancy on cocoa farms that were planted over 5 years ago but erecting buildings in the forest reserve is prohibited. According to him, flitching in the forest reserves is 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 of Joint Task Force (JTF) to watch out for any breach.
He, therefore solicited the support of officers in the area of revenue generation, saying he would put in place a system that enhances productivity and revenue generation to help meet government’s obligations of providing infrastructure and other social amenities for people of the state.
Earlier, the Administrative Secretary, Mr. Oluseyi Adesusi, said that the Forestry Department of the ministry is 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.
He stressed that short changing government would not be tolerated, because government has put in place necessary measures to checkmate short changing on the field.
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.
Sola Omoboyowa, Press Officer, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry