Federal Government on Tuesday, January 9 destroyed stockpiles of confiscated elephant ivory worth $9.9 billion as it continues to tackle illegal ivory trade in Nigeria.
While speaking to journalists during the exercise in Abuja, Director General, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, NESREA, Aliyu Jauro, said that the destruction of ivory weighing 2.5 tonnes (2436.15 kilograms), was a deterrent to those involved in the wildlife trade.
Jauro also said that most of the items destroyed are not from Nigeria but are trafficked along Nigerian roads.
Jauro said;“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 but also in sending a clear message that Nigeria will do whatever it takes to protect our elephants and other endangered wildlife,” he said.
In his remarks, the Minister of State for Environment, Kunle Salako, said, “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.
“By destroying these confiscated ivory stockpiles, we send a strong message that wildlife trafficking will not be tolerated in our country.
“Nigeria is taking a firm stance, and we call on the global community to join hands in eradicating this illicit trade that threatens the very existence of our elephants.
“Economically, it is only when we manage our natural gifts in a circular manner that we can sustain our economy.
“The 2.5tons that is going to be destroyed today in the open market is worth about 9.9 billion dollars, so you can see the kind of damage that has done to the economy and the nature of our country,” Salako said.