The Kogi Government has employed 100 forest guards for effective policing of forests across the 21 local government areas of state.
The Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mrs Rosemary Osikoya, disclosed this in Lokoja at the training programme organised for the newly recruited forest guards.
She said that the recruitment process had been concluded, while the 100 guards, who were engaged, had undergone different stages of training.
“We have invited qualified resource persons from Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Ibadan, and National Parks, Abuja, who have been engaging them since last week with regard to their duties as forest guards.
“The training would last for two weeks; the first day was theoretical, while all the remaining days would be purely practical aspects of forest policing and security functions,” she said.
The commissioner commended the state Gov ernor. Yahaya Bello for approving and supporting the recruitment of the guards, saying that the policy was the first of its kind in the state.
One of the resource persons from FRIN, Mr Ralph Adewoye, commended the government for the guards’ recruitment and the quality of training given to them.
“It is a plus to the government and people of Kogi State that this administration is coming up at this point to protect the state’s forest reserves.
“I urge you to be part of history of those who are reversing the trends of illegal logging activities, flooding, climate change, erosion and deforestation in Kogi State,’’ he said.
The Acting Head of Service, Mrs Kehinde Lawal, advised the forest guards to give quality service delivery and see their assignment as an opportunity to contribute their own quota to nation building.
She also commended the governor for approving the recruitment of the guards to safeguard and protect the forests, as part of efforts to have a healthy environment. (NAN).