By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The National Park Service on Tuesday denied any role in animal trafficking in the country.
The Conservator-General, NPS, Dr. Ibrahim Goni stated this during the presentation of a parrot to the federal government through the Ministry of Environment in Abuja.
The presentation was made by the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS).
He said Nigeria had been accused by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) as a transit route and source of illegal animal trafficking.
“This has given our country a bad name. We are here to redeem that image. Mr President in 2016 reviewed the CITES Act for this reaso.
“Based on the Act, most agencies like the National Park Service, NAQS, National Environmental Standard and Regulations Enforcement Agency ( NESREA) and the Department of Forestry in the Ministry of Environment were given additional powers.
“This has made us to work as a team and as a result led to the confiscation of the parrot,’’ he said.
He said parrots are beneficial to the society.
“Parrots are beneficial to man in several ways as they serve as stress buster due to their talking nature and help in guarding in homes.
“When well-trained, parrot would be able to pass information to the owner of the house especially if a trespasser comes around.“A parrot can also tell time about one’s environment. It is highly trafficked because the feathers and inner organs serve as medicine,’’ he said
He said that parrots under the national park service care is now three, there were two before the coming of this confiscated parrot.
He assured that with the level of synergy between agencies under the ministry of environment there will be transparency and quality coordination.
In his remarks, Mr Vincent Isegbe, Director General, NAQS, who was represented by Dr Yunisa Dakat of NAQS said the confiscated parrot was arrested and detained in Lagos for lack of document.
“If our officers discover you don’t have the right documents attached to the animal to travel with, they will confiscate the animal.
“This parrot was seized at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. The people don’t have the document of the bird so we confiscated it and brought it to the parks for keeps,’’ he said.