NESREA Seals Company for Illegal Charcoal Export
The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, NESREA has shut down one of the facilities of a Chinese company, Kwo Chief Investment Limited, located at Obimo in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State for illegal production and exportation of charcoal in Nigeria. The matter will be charged to court shortly.
Following public complaints on the activities of the company, NESREA had dispatched officers to investigate the allegations leveled against the company. Investigations showed that the company was operating illegal charcoal production facilities at Ikem and Obimo in Isi-Uzo and Nsukka Local Government Areas of Enugu State respectively without permit. This runs contrary to the provisions of the National Environmental (Control of Charcoal Production Export) Regulations 2014.
The Regulation states that “… a person shall not undertake or engage in any undertaking or activity relating to commercial charcoal production or handling without a valid permit issued by the Federal or State Department of Forestry”.
The regulation also provides that, “a person shall not be granted a permit for charcoal production without having a reforestation and rehabilitation plan for the area from where the charcoal will be derived or produced.”
In Nigeria, there is a ban on production of charcoal for export, but local commercial production is allowed within the ambits of the law. Indiscriminate destruction of forests for the production of charcoal leads to depletion of forest resources and is one of the causes of climate change.
The Director General of NESREA, Professor Aliyu Jauro had warned facilities to desist from flaunting environmental laws in the country. Addressing reporters recently, Prof Jauro said with the amendment of the Act setting up NESREA, the Agency was set to heighten it enforcement activities. He charged companies to ensure they obtain relevant permits, as erring facilities will be sanctioned.