The Niger State Environmental Protection Agency (NISEPA) says rural people in the state were felling trees indiscriminately to make charcoal for export.
Lucky Barau, General Manger, NISEPA, disclosed this on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna.
He said that the people engaged in the act to satisfy their pecuniary need, adding that this endangers the environment.
“Our recent findings in the state reveal that our local people cut down timbers and other trees indiscriminately to make wood for local use and charcoal for export.
“According to local sources, they make a lot of money from exporting the charcoal to neighbouring countries like Benin, Niger and Mali. It is lucrative for them, so they concentrate on the business,’’ he said.
Mr Barau said that recently the agency concluded sensitisation visit to the eight emirates in the state to let the people know the negative effect of deforestation to the society.
“Government at all levels is looking for a way of fighting desert encroachment as a result of exposing the environment to harsh weather condition, then some people are contributing to it.
“We will not fold our arms and watch some people endanger the environment out of ignorance,’’ he said.