29 May 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Federal Government of Nigeria and the Tropical Wood Exporters Association of Nigeria, TWEAN, have commenced moves to stop the export of processed and semi-processed woods.
Disclosing this yesterday, the Secretary-General of TWEAN, Mr. Joseph Odiase said that the decision to stop the export of these categories of woods was initiated by the group and supported by the Forestry Department of the Federal Ministry of Environment.
Odiase also disclosed that a three-year moratorium has also been given to wood exporters to prepare for eventual ban of the export of primary semi-processed wood from Nigeria.
The group’s scribe explained that the idea behind the move to stop primary semi-processed wood export is to ensure more value-adding measures were added to these wood products before they are exported.
He further explained that the decision was taken by a Ministerial Committee on deforestation, afforestation and re-afforestation set up by the ministry of environment adding that the Committee decided on the matter in 2016.
Odiase also said that by the time the ban on wood export comes into effect, more job opportunities would have been created in the wood industry.
“The policy was initiated by the TWEAN because we want to do business in line with sustainable environmental and economic policies of the government of the Republic of Nigeria.
“We want to do business in line with the well-being of the nation’s economy and the Nigerian people.
“If we continue to export primary semi-processed and semi-processed woods, we will continue to miss the value that comes with fully processed woods.
He also added that wood exports have become revenue contributors and generators to the Government for afforestation drive. This development is in addition to the direct contribution of members of TWEAN/PROPMAN for tree planting across the federation.
“TWEAN has asked the government to allow for a three-year moratorium to let exporters key into the initiative by way of bringing in more wood processing equipment and machinery for wood industry, enhance the confidence of foreign investors and promote the transfer of technology.
The department of forestry of the ministry of environment has introduced a quota system thereby checking the volume of exports and controlling the activities of exporters. He also told Vanguard that more wood factories have set up across the country adding that only fully processed and fully finished wood products will be allowed for export from the beginning of the year 2020.
Confirming the development, Mr. Audu Ochuma, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs in charge of export at the Tin-Can Island Port in Lagos also disclosed that the agency had received a directive to stop the exportation of primary semi-processed woods early 2020