Nigeria: FG destroys elephant ivory products worth $9.9 billion

Jan 11, 2024 | News

Cornelius Essen, The Guardian Nigeria

In an attempt to tackle the illegal ivory trade, the Federal Government has destroyed elephant ivory products, weighing approximately 2,436.15 kilogrammes valued at $9.9 billion in the illegal market.

Minister of State for Environment, Dr. Ishaq Salako stated this at the crushing site in Abuja, saying Nigeria has successfully organised its first-ever ivory crush, destroying significant stockpiles of confiscated elephant tusks.

According to Salako, the country is Africa’s major transit hub for ivory export, adding, with this the government has sent strong signals to combat the illegal ivory trade and protect its dwindling elephant population.

He said the exercise will mark a significant milestone in the country’s efforts to curb the illegal ivory trade and conserve a hundred elephants, commending the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) in collaboration with the Elephant Protection Initiative Foundation for their initiatives.

“We are proud to stand at the forefront of the fight against the illegal ivory trade. Today’s ivory crush is a symbol of Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to wildlife conservation and the protection of our natural heritage,” he added.

The Minister further explained, “By destroying these confiscated ivory stockpiles, we send a strong message that wildlife trafficking will not be tolerated and. We are taking a firm stance, and we call on the global community to join hands in eradicating this illicit trade.”

Also speaking, Director General of NESREA, Prof. Aliyu Jauro emphasised ,”The destruction of the confiscated ivory is a tangible step towards stamping out wildlife trafficking.

“We stand united against the illegal ivory trade, and our actions today are not only crucial in preserving the majestic elephants for future generations. Nigeria will do whatever it takes to protect elephants and other endangered wildlife,” Jauro added.

Contributing, Peter Knights of Wild Africa Fund praised Nigeria for stepping up its game in fighting illegal wildlife trade with more seizures and prosecutions and greater public awareness,saying, next logical step is to update its legislation.

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