FG denies export racketeering allegations against UN Deputy Sec-Gen - TREAT P WORLD

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Sunday, 12 November 2017

FG denies export racketeering allegations against UN Deputy Sec-Gen

The Nigerian Government has denied the allegations of
wood export racketeering to China levelled against UN
Deputy Secretary-General Ms Amina Mohammed.
The Minister of State for Environment, Mr Ibrahim Jibril,
in a statement obtained by newsmen, denied the
allegations being widely circulated in the media against
the ex-Minister of Environment.
The statement read: “The report which contained spurious
and unsubstantiated allegations against the former
Minister, is a pure misrepresentation of facts, baseless
and intended to smear not just Mrs Mohammed, but the
Nigerian Government.

“The Ministry of Environment wishes to state
unequivocally that the ex-Minister is not under any probe
whatsoever over any purported wrongdoing whether
locally or internationally.

“The ex-minister acted within the ambit of the law of both
the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the protocols of
International Environmental conventions while in office
between November 2015 to February 2017”.
The Nigerian Government noted for clarity the processes
involved in issuing approvals for Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species in wild Fauna
and Flora (CITES).

It said “potential exporters are required to apply to the
Ministry” and for “inspection of factories and premises
for compliance by wood experts”.

The statement said qualified exporters were issued
‘Letters of Supports’, with ‘Invitation of the Ministry by
the exporter for the stuffing of the containers”.
The Ministry stated that all the CITES permits signed by
the ex-minister were done in line with stringent guidance
and procedures.

“Specifically, Rosewood (Kosso) is under CITES Appendix
II, which allows Sustainable Trade to improve the
livelihood of people in line with International best
practices.

“For the records, the CITES permits signed by the ex-
minister were in batches from August 2016 to January
2017.
“In line with established Public Service norms, the ex-
minister continued to perform her duties diligently up to
the last minute of her last day in office in Feb. 24, 2017.”
The ministry further stated that Mohammed, during her
tenure as Minister of Environment, carried out far-
reaching reforms in the environmental sector.
It cited that of bringing Rosewood from unguided trade of
CITES Appendix III to Appendix II, which sanitised the
wood industry in Nigeria.

It added that Mohammed “led the Review of Endangered
Species Act, Convention on International Trade in Wild
Fauna and Flora and duly signed by the President of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria, on Dec. 30, 2016.”
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) had earlier
claimed that the former Nigerian Minister might have
benefited personally from signing thousands of allegedly
backdated permits in January 2017 which were allegedly
used to clear illegal rosewood exports to China.
EIA further claimed this happened at the
time Mohammed was preparing to leave as Nigeria’s
minister of environment following her UN appointment.
EIA’s report said over 1.4 million illegal rosewood logs
from Nigeria worth $300 million were detained at the
ports in China in 2016 but were released after the
presentation of CITES certificates signed by the ex-
minister.
  Source Vanguard.

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