Forestry Department decries exclusion of forest products in GDP rebasing

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

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

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

“The purpose of this field trip is get us acquainted with 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 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 with to identify forest resources and products as well as design methods of utilising those products.

“Through this, we be able to identify wild fruits, wild vegetables as well as products that can improve well-being, but not Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

“This will further give an orientation of how important 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 provide 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 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 boost the industry.

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

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

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