Gloria Ogbu

A retired Federal Director of Forestry, Abuja, Michael Osakuade has indicated the need for Ekiti State forestry to be funded in order to generate revenue for the State.

Osakuade stated this in a 2-day workshop by the New Initiative for Social Development (NISD) in conjunction with Ekiti State forestry commission and the support of Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), which is targeted at developing the Ekiti State forest map implementation action plan.

He also noted that the state government has a role to play as the number one owner of the forest, urging them to exercise will power to implement the roadmap.

In his words, “Forestry is a business on its own, it’s an enterprise, and we have gone beyond forestry of 50 years ago which is just pure conservation and exploitation, we are now in the era of management because the resources are fixed, it’s not increasing and we have to find a way of managing what we have to ensure sustainable management.”

“It is also to align to Sustainable development goal 15 worldwide and this program itself is to refocus all the activities that have been identified in the forestry map, to make sure that we as foresters are in line and are having the same vision.”

He furthered that once the documents from the roadmap and the workshop are on the forestry website, it becomes easier for Ekiti State government through the forestry commission to market their vision.

“Once you have a vision, and you have a development strategy to achieving that vision, you are more accessible to funders and donors all over the world where they get the document and that is what we trying to do now, to take Ekiti State forestry beyond the finances of government of Ekiti State because the finances is not there.”

“2021-2035, as a target is 15 years action plan and we hope that in the next 14 years, the forestry sector in Ekiti State would have begin to take the picture it want and by so doing, the revenue from forest will increase and the revenue from non timber will increase too.”

“The participants at the workshop are now having new orientation and the new orientation which they will carry as top managers will water down to lower level and they will be able to perform their activities in the office and on the field with the focus and objective that they are working together for a purpose and for the Ekiti people to utilizing their forest in the best possible way and maximizing the benefits from the forest for Ekiti community.”

Participants of the 2-day workshop

On his part, the Director, Ekiti State Afforestation, Dr Adewumi Adedayo decried the porous state of Ekiti forests, and solicited the help of donors, as well as the governor to revive the forests.

“Forestry in Ekiti State have been in a deplorable state, most of our ten forests reserve in Ekiti State is degraded.”

“The problem we are facing in Ekiti forestry is the problem of funding, afforestation today is a capital intensive project that need a lot of money and the state government cannot single handedly handle it but we need the assistance of foreign donors to revive the forests in Ekiti State.”

He thereby commended the NISD, for their zeal to assist forestry in Ekiti State.

“This workshop is going to go a long way in reviving the forests in Ekiti State, he concluded.”