FG Lifts Ban on Wood Export

The federal government, through the ministry of environment, has lifted the ban placed on the export of wood.

It is recalled that the federal ministry of environment (FMOE) put wood export under lock and key some months back following the upsurge in the exportation of unprocessed woods.  Due to ignorance or desperation, some exporters refused to follow the guidelines on woods that were allowable for export; they exported all manner of woods. This development drew the attention of the FMOE, leading to a ban on the activity. This also led to the seizure of 25 containers of unprocessed wood in one of the customs commands in four weeks.

But Ports Surveillance sighted a copy of a circular on the lifting of the ban signed by the Controller, Import and Export, Comptroller Othman AS, for the Comptroller-General of Customs sent to all area commands.

Dated 15 June, 2016, it reads: “Suspension of wood and wood products.

Furtherance to headquarters letter ref. no. NCS/T&T/I&E/021/S.51/VOL. VI dated 21st April, 2016, forwarded herewith is copy of a letter no. FMENV/HM/FOR/WM/966 dated 6th June, 2016 on the above subject matter.

I am directed to convey the Comptroller-General’s directive for the lifting of the earlier suspension on the export of wood and wood products.

For the purpose of emphasis and clarification, the attached Tariff and Trade headquarters circular no. 008/2016 is forwarded for guidance.

Ensure wide circulation with strict compliance, please,” the circular stated.

Speaking in his office recently, the public relations officer of the Tincan Island command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Superintendent of Customs, Chris Osunkwo said the command has been sensitizing groups and individuals on allowable wood export, even before the call on the suspension of the item. He said self-explanatory banners are displayed in the command to educate and enlighten the public on woods that are allowable for exports.

“We have been sensitizing groups on allowable wood exports. Not quite long the federal ministry of environment suspended wood export, but a circular suspending that order has been lifted.

“On the procedures for exportation, there is no way one can cut corners because it is open. Banners are displayed all over the place educating people, enlightening them on allowable wood export.

“If you look at it critically, if it passes the test, you go ahead; if it doesn’t, it will not be allowed for export,” Osunkwo explained.