Forestry Department decries exclusion of forest products in GDP rebasing

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ABUJA – Federal Department of Forestry Federal Ministry of Environment on Monday decried exclusion of forest products the recent rebasing the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Mr Philip Bankole, Director of Forest Utilisation and Biosafety, made observation when officials of the department visited the Kugbo Furniture Market Abuja.

field trip was aimed at getting staff of department acquainted forest products.

“The purpose of this field trip is to get us acquainted or have a practical experience of available forest products.”

Bankole expressed regret that the potential of forest products had been undermined whereas hit had the capacity to increase the  national GDP.

He, however, expressed the government’s commitment in repositioning the sub-sector for wealth creation and income generation for the citizens.

He said the department was collaborating stakeholders to identify forest resources and products as well as design methods of utilising those products.

“Through this, we can be able to identify wild fruits, wild vegetables as well as products that can improve our well-being, but Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

“This will further give an orientation of how important our department is to national economy.’’

While addressing Timber Dealers Association and officials of Kugbo Furniture Manufacturers, Bankole encouraged them to register with the Forestry Department for proper regulation of their activities.

He said the collaboration with the department would a platform for the government to identify where to assist them.[eap_ad_2]

He also promised that the department would also secure a land specifically for tree plantation that would serve as source of wood in the nearest future.

Responding, Mr Ajuluchukwu Anikpe, the Chairman of the association, decried the depletion of Iroko and Mahogany in the forest.

He said the demand on those two trees was always high, adding that due to its short supply, wood users had no option than to go for inferior quality of trees.

Anikpe appealed to the government to support the wood industry to create employment and generate income for youths.

He said that the association would appreciate the support of the government through the provision of soft loans and machines to enable them to generate employment for the people.

He said the market had so far generated over 4,000 direct and indirect jobs for people.

“This market has provided so many employment for people, and we want the government to support us with funds, machines and infrastructure to the industry.

“You can see there are vendors, drivers, cleaners and other people running kinds of businesses here.

“We just need the government to support us, and we can go places.’’

The earlier visited the National Park  Services along the Airport , where the was conducted round the office. The also visited the museum, animal orphanage and Mini Park, among other places. (NAN)[eap_ad_3]