As part of efforts to ensure sustainability of the charcoal sub-sector, the National Association of Charcoal Producers, Dealers, Exporters, and Afforestation of Nigeria (NACPDEAN) and other stakeholders have called for aggressive afforestation and reforestation. The call was made at a stakeholders’ consultative meeting themed, “Sustainable afforestation and reforestation for Nigeria’s posterity” with government agencies organised by NACPDEAN, which was held in Lagos.
Stakeholders at the event said that, in order to diversify the economy away from oil exports and towards non-oil exports, a greater contribution from the charcoal sub-sector would be required. According to the National President of NACPDEAN, Mr. Babatunde Edu, the event was organised to reposition the charcoal sub-sector as one of the drivers of the country’s economy. “The focus of NACPDEAN is to fully embark on agrisilviculture (integration of trees and crops), the establishment of more private indigenous plantations, and the creation of industrial alternative charcoal that will not come from wood, but shafts and waste for the economic growth and development of Nigeria”, he said.
The Minister of Environment, Muhammed Abdullahi, who was represented by his Deputy Director, Dr. Peter Bagudu, said the event was timely, given the recent lifting of the export restriction on processed wood, charcoal, and other related products. The Assistant Director for Commodities and Exports, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investments, Mr. Jude Amalunweze promised continued support on behalf of the organisation and added that the ministry was dedicated to creating an environment that would allow the charcoal sub-sector to prosper. A representative of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mrs. Francisca Odega, implored members of the association to register their businesses with the council and other relevant agencies to facilitate trade and the export of their goods.