The Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers has called on Nigerians to stop illegal mining and indiscriminate felling of trees in the state.
The emirs made the warning when the Niger State Commissioner for Environment, Mineral and Forestry Resources, Ali Mohammed, visited their palaces, as part of plans to sensitise the people on environmental degradation.
Speaking differently at the meeting on Monday in north-central Nigeria, they vowed that defaulters would be dealt with accordingly.
The Emir of Minna, Farouk Bahago, and his counterpart from Agaie Emirate, Yusuf Nuhu, said that stringent laws were needed to tackle illegal activities in the state.
The Emir of Minna who asked the people to desist from illegal activities, expressed readiness to support the policy to ensure strict adherence.
In his words, the Emir of Agaie stressed that there was an urgent need for illegal operators to stop cutting economic trees for charcoal.
“We have invited our villages and District Heads to monitor their areas, report any illegal mining and tree felling to us. They should be made to face the law,” he insisted.
The monarch added that, the Council had declared its support for the review of the law at the Niger State House of Assembly.
“All of us (the royal fathers) have been yearning for this law to be reviewed. We have been waiting for the government to review the law, so that we can know how to control the illegality. We are ready,” he said.
The Emir pointed out that the illegal operators had lied that they got licence from the Ministry of Environment to fell trees, maintaining that it was not true.
Mr Mohammed had earlier decried the indiscriminate felling of trees and illegal mining going on in the state.
“We are revisiting areas of penalty in the forestry law, so as to make fines effective enough to serve as deterrent for further destruction,” he said.
The Commissioner explained that the State government had banned all form of commercial exploitation of the forest.