HomeNewsNigeria Set To Implement Firm Policy For Protection Of Endangered Species

Nigeria Set To Implement Firm Policy For Protection Of Endangered Species

The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to implement a new law for the protection of endangered species in the country.

The new law will allow the court to handle wildlife cases and recover losses, and also advocate for international partnership with wildlife agencies.

In the policy under the Endangered Species Conservation and Protection Bill 2022, which is before the House of Representatives, the federal government has also made provisions to prosecute people who allow wildlife crime, bring in invasive species, and connive to commit a crime.

Promoted by the Federal Ministry of Environment, the legislation would make Nigeria adhere to international conventions on endangered species, organized crime, and corruption, while increasing investigative powers to include financial inquiries and intelligence-led operations. Chair of the House Environment Committee, Hon. Johnson Oghuma, and Hon. Sam Onuigbo, jointly sponsored it.

Also, it stipulates imprisonment of up to 10 years imprisonment or a fine of not less than N12 million or both for any person that imports, exports, re-exports, or attempts to embark on such activities listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix I.

For offenses related to species listed under the Second Schedule or that are listed under CITES Appendix II, the person is liable to a term of imprisonment of up to seven years or a fine of not less than N6 million or both. An offense relating to a species listed under the Third Schedule or listed under CITES Appendix III also attracts N4 million or both such fine and imprisonment.

Animals and plants in Appendix I include Leaf-nosed Bats, Fat-mouse, Flying Squirrels, Giant Ground Pangolin, Drill, White-throated Monkey, Sclater’s Monkey, Chimpanzee, Cross River Gorillas, Lion, Leopard, Cheetahs, and Wild Cat, while Animals in the second schedule include African lung Fish, Butterflyfish, Snake fish, Forest Guinea fowls, and African Palm Squirrel.

Executive Director of the Environmental Investigation Agency, Mary Rice, said: “This comprehensive legislation is cutting-edge and a potential game-changer. Working alongside our partners, EIA sees this as a key step in tackling trafficking and protecting critically endangered wildlife in Nigeria and across Africa. We hope it can be rapidly adopted to address the current crisis.”

Chief Executive Officer of the Wild Africa Fund, Peter Knights, said: “Nigeria has become the epicenter of the illegal trade in ivory and pangolin scales. If passed, this Bill would give authorities the legal tools to close down trafficking – border agencies have made huge seizures but have struggled to prosecute and pursue criminals internationally due to weak laws previously.”

- Advertisement -spot_img
- Advertisement -spot_img
Must Read
- Advertisement -spot_img
Related News
- Advertisement -spot_img


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here