The Government of Osun on Friday closed two forest reserves at Irewole and Isokan Local Government area over some series of illegalities, contraventions, and corruption being perpetuated by the plank sellers associations .
Prince Tunde Ajilore, Special Adviser to Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Forestry, Natural and Mineral Reserves who made this known to newsmen in Osogbo, said the closure was to ensure that loopholes are blocked and to also checkmate some illegal operations in the forest .
According to him, some plank seller associations have continued to shortchange the state, and adversely affected the Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) ,with millions being carted away by the miscreants through illegal means.
He said, “The government had established series of meetings with the associations in the affected regions which at the end of the meetings, the miscreants still default and truncated the peace meetings.
” Some eminent personalities have intervened but the associations refused to listened to the voice of wisdom and embraced peace,”Ajilore said.
The SA further explained that the plank sellers have continue to attack some wood sellers in market places which had led to interventions of security agencies on several occasions to ensure that lives and properties were well protected in the interest of the people.
Ajilore noted that until there is dialogue and the plank sellers associations show remorseful over their illegal acts and also complied with the laws of the state, the government would not hesitate to dealt with anyone found wanting.
In the same vein, Mrs Yemisi Adetipe, the State Task Force Officer in the Ministry reiterated the SA’s stance, adding that the prank sellers are really short-changing Osun State Government.
She further explained the ministry had not gone against the revenue mobilization committee in collection of money as agreed with the associations.
According to her, those who preferred to break the laws of the land and willingly decided to continue with their illegalities would not escape the wrath of the laws.
Adetipe said the primary responsibility of the ministry was to mobilise revenues for the State in order to boast it’s IGR.
She thefore called on stakeholders in the sector to be calmed as the state government was on-top of the predicament.
Adetipe, however, urged the plank sellers associations carrying such illegal activities to desist and obey the laws of Osun that guide their activities or face the wrath of the laws
It would be Recalled that some plank sellers in Ikire, Irewole Local government area of the state had on Thursday, staged a protest against multiple taxation and alleged extortion by agent of the state.
The protesters lamented that their businesses have suffered serious setback as a result of what they called ‘fraudulent activities’ of the government agents.
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