Ondo Govt begins verification of forest allottees

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Ondo State Government has begun the  verification of allotees operating in forests in the state, as part of efforts to stop conflict of interest between government and allotees.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry, Mr Olayato Aribo, at the inauguration of the committee on Tuesday in Akure, appreciated the members of the committee for accepting to serve.

The committee has as its Chairman, Mr Anjola Samuel, who retired as Director of Forestry in the ministry.

Aribo said that the exercise would pave way for proper monitoring and evaluation of the forest reserves in the state.

The Commissioner said that the exercise would rid the forest of illegal allottees, adding that any allottee who failed to show up for the exercise would be considered as no more interested in his allocation.

Aribo urged the committee to ensure that all allottees were screened, stressing that no genuine allottee should be left out.

The Commissioner charged the committee to do a good job that would stand the test of integrity anytime, explaining that he sought to put the records straight as regards logging activities in the state.

“All allottees that do not appear for verification of their forest allocations will be regarded as no longer interested in participating in logging activities in the state and deemed to have forfeited such allocation.

“You must ascertain the number of genuine forest allottees with valid documents and approvals to operate in each forest.

“Also, you must ascertain the payment made by each allottee to date and  recommend as appropriate the payment of any indebtedness to the State Government.

“Come up with a list of all eligible forest allottees in each of the forest reserves and  ascertain the numbers of various hammer holder and their indebtedness,” he said.

He promised the State Government’s total support for the committee to achieve the desired goals.

Speaking on behalf of the committee, its Chairman, Mr Anjola  Samuel, thanked the Ministry; especially the Commissioner, for counting them worthy by extending his hands of fellowship to them to carry out the assignment.

He told the Commissioner that the committee had invited all allottees and the exercise would be successful, saying competent hands were selected  to  serve  on the committee.

He assured the state that the committee would deliver on its terms of reference and that its reports would be submitted to the State Government in due time.

The committee was inaugurated by the Administrative Secretary, Mr David Adesina, on Monday.

It was mandated, among other things, to ascertain the number of genuine forest allottees in the state based on each of the forest reserves.

The Committee was given two weeks to submit its report.