CRSFC CHAIRMAN VISITS ROYAL FATHER, SEEKS COLLABORATION ON FOREST CONSERVATION
By Blessing Enagu
In continuation of his working visits to forestry formations across the State, the Chairman of Cross River State Forestry Commission, Chief Tony Undiandeye recently paid homage to the Paramount ruler of Akamkpa Local Government Area, His Royal Majesty, Ntufam Clement Ekpe Emayip, at his palace in Mfamosing, where he sought cooperation on sustainability and conservation of the forest resources within Akamkpa Local Government Area.
Chief Undiandeye noted that Akamkpa which used to hold the largest forests in the State and hosts endangered primates such as Chimpanzees and gorillas is fast depleting as a result of indiscriminate deforestation activities in the area. He added that beyond the adverse effects of global warming, wildlife is also going into extinction because of noise pollution generated from saw engines operating in the forests.
The Chairman also maintained that government will ensure strict compliance by the various companies operating in the area on their corporate social responsibilities, while assuring that the commission will work within its powers to ensure that Akamkpa benefits from her conservation efforts.
Applauding the Paramount Ruler for his leadership qualities, Chief Undiandeye expressed confidence that the synergy between his Commission and the Akamkpa traditional Institution will be result-oriented.
The Chairman debunked the alleged claim that government was responsible for selling forests and its products in the area, warning that those responsible were impostors who must be compelled to desist from such illegal acts. He further advised the people to always seek confirmation from the relevant authority.
The Paramount Ruler, Ntufam Clement Emayip, thanked the Chairman for reaching out to the community noting that it shows the value placed on the Local Government Area.
The royal father complained that Akamkpa Local Government Area is highly cheated by government despite being the Local Government Area with largest mineral resources base in the state.
He lamented that local communities in the area no longer receive royalties from government, and that their children were neither given scholarships nor gainfully employed. He, however, expressed hope that the renewed collaboration with the Commission will facilitate growth and development for the people of Akamkpa.
The Forestry Commission Chairman used the opportunity to visit Dansa Agro- Allied Company in Oban to inspect the farm and ensure that the company operates within the enumerated area without impacting on the Forests reserve.
In company of the Chairman were the Permanent Secretary, senior directors and principal officers of the Commission.