Niger State Forest Task Force has busted an illegal Chinese wood production company at Gulu in Lapai Local Government. It has shut the firm.
The company said to have been in operation for over one year, is located inside a forest.
According to The Nation, the company fell trees inside the forest, turns it into refined wood, transports it to Lagos through the use of containers and then it is shipped outside the country.
The Coordinator of the Niger State Task Force on Forestry Protection, Isah Lankpene, confirmed the discovery of the illegal wood production company in Minna.
He said the Chinese, who ran the company, were the largest syndicate involved in deforestation in the state, adding that the discovery of the firm was done after due diligence and monitoring.
“The factory is located inside the bush in Lapai Local Government. We discovered that they have been operating for over one year. Nobody knew they were there until we moved in to nab them.
“To arrest them was not easy. I had to sleep in the bush for two days because we were monitoring them. We succeeded in the raid and arrested them.”
Lankpene lamented that the company was operating illegally in the bush, which was against the law of the land.
“They don’t have a licence, they do not part with any money for being in the bush. They have no evidence of tax payment. I’m even sure they are in the country illegally because no one knew they were operating in that bush.”
He said the team, who made the arrest, discovered two standby generators, several machines used for cutting and refining the wood, containers and trucks used in conveying the wood to Lagos State.
“They put the wood in the containers, transport it to Lagos and ship it out of the country through the sea,” the coordinator said.