ONDO ASSEMBLY CALL'S FOR SUBMISSION OF MOU ON AFFORESTATION By Awodeyi Elizabeth The Ondo State House of Assembly has called on the Ministry of Agri

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By Awodeyi Elizabeth

The Ondo State House of Assembly has called on the Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry to submit the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with all Consultants for observation to ensure better management and performance of the State afforestation project.

The Chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources, Hon Akinrogunde Akintomide made the call when he led other Members of the Committee on oversight function to the Ministry in Akure.

Akinrogunde who frowned at the Consultants poor performances, stated that the Ministry should write their reports and rate their performances so far and send it to the State House of Assembly for observation as well as to know the next line of action.

He also explained that the oversight visit is to ensure forests are well managed based on contract agreement with the companies as well as engaging them to ensure full implementation of the agreement,

The Chairman who commended the Ministry for their efforts at boosting their IGR , stated that they will meet with the ODIRS in two weeks time for them to support the Ministry’s robust system in IGR generation and further strengthen the system .

While stressing the need to review they Ministry Law so as to meet up with the current situation in the country, Akinrogunde noted that the Committee would visit the field any moment from now to see how things are.

Other Committee members also supported the position of the Committee Chairman ,stating that the State government can completely revoke the contract of any company with poor performances in the interest of the State and the people.

The Lawmakers who also frowned at the Companies for not showing capacity to carry out the implementation of the contract, said that the discouraging situation negated the good intention of the State government which was to create job opportunities and improve the economy of the State.

While appreciating the Lawmakers for their visit, the State Commissioner for Agricultural and Forestry, Hon Olayato Aribo, said the government has setup a forest Management Committee which their mandated is to ascertain the positions of forest reserves.

He stated that about 45 percent of the forest has been approved, but sadly people have built Houses, Schools and churches inside the forest reserve, which most of them are foreigners.

He informed that government has given an approval of10,000 hectares to be vacated by the occupants for the usefulness of the Ministry.

The Commissioner who said all hand should be on deck for the monitoring of illegal activities in the forest, advised the Citizens to do the needful not to fall victim of illegal task force.

Also the Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Barr Adesina David who hinted that they Ministry have generated about 480 Million IGR for this year with 11millon increase from last year, noted that the Ministry will soon set up a department that will have close monitoring of all Sawmills activities in the State.

The PS sought for the House intervention in providing a Law backing the Forest Trust Fund, so that part of IGR they are generating will be coming back to them to take care of the Ministry.

He also reeled out their challenges to the Committee, which includes, not having access to their budgetary Fund which have been reducing their efficiencies and performances, lack of staff and operation vehicle, which has been affecting them to be functional on field as their work required.

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