In a joint statement issued by the world’s leading environmental NGOs, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Africa Nature Investors (ANI), and Wild Africa Fund, the groups praised the new Nigeria’s “Endangered Species Conservation and Protection Bill,” which managed to pass the first reading at the House of Representatives. Kelechukwu Iruoma, the Nigerian Representative for the Wild Africa Fund, signed the declaration on the other groups’ behalf, reiterating that the bill, which was drafted by the Federal Ministry of the Environment, aims to combat illegal wildlife trade and safeguard highly threatened species.
Sam Onuigbo and Johnson Oghuma, who is the head of the House Committee on Environment, are both co-sponsors of this bill. According to the statement, the act would bring Nigeria into compliance with international treaties against corruption, organized crime, and endangered species. It further stated that if the bill became law, it would provide investigators more authority to conduct financial investigations and intelligence-driven operations. Sanctions for interfering with protected areas, failing to get the necessary permits, releasing an invasive species into the wild, obstructing law enforcement, and planning a crime will also be established.
Plants and animals have the right to life, just as humans do.
Both animals and plants have the same right to life, just as people do. To guarantee their sustainability, Nigerians must utilize all of their available resources. Mr. Oghuma was again cited in a statement stating that It is time to take action to halt the destruction of the environment and conserve our wildlife and vegetation internationally. Additionally, it noted that environmental NGOs were proactively aiding the national government’s initiatives to combat illegal wildlife trafficking, with assistance from the United States Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the United Kingdom Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund.
Furthermore, the bill will also toughen punishments to account for the severity of the crimes committed against endangered species. It would strengthen corporate liability, promote international cooperation, and increase the courts’ capacity to accelerate wildlife case resolution and asset recovery. Mr. Oghuma also noted that the alarming pace at which some kinds of animals and flora were being destroyed was becoming more widespread. Species are being driven closer and closer to extinction every day, and there is now a number of endangered species. It is important to remember that any action taken to undermine biodiversity and preservation has a high price.
Nigerians should strive to protect wildlife as an example to others.
According to Africa Nature Investors (ANI) Executive Director Tunde Morakinyo, this is a historical moment for Nigeria. Everybody throughout the globe is keeping a close eye on the situation. He encouraged the people to do the right thing and prove to the world that Nigeria is capable of leading Africa in the fight against illegal trafficking in wildlife. He also applauds the politicians for addressing the issue so soon before the elections. They know that this is important for Nigeria.
Mary Rice, executive director of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), was quoted saying that this new legislation measure is good technology and may completely transform the sector. Together with its other partners, EIA considers this as an important step toward combating wildlife trafficking as well as protecting animal populations that are on the verge of extinction in Nigeria and throughout Africa. They have high hopes that it will be promptly implemented in order to alleviate the current problem.
The country has become a centre for illegal wildlife trafficking.
Similarly, Peter Knights, the chief executive officer of the Wild Africa Fund, was also featured in the statement. He said Nigeria has evolved into the centre of illegal traffic of pangolin scales and ivory. If it were to become law, this bill would provide law enforcement with the tools they need to put an end to border trafficking. In the past, inadequate regulations have made it difficult for government agencies to make large seizures, but they have been successful in prosecuting and pursuing criminals on a local level.