The Ogun state government has issued a warning to farmers and those living in the state’s forest reserves to stop growing cocoa seedlings, saying it is a violation of the State Forestry Law.
The government also ordered that all unauthorized structures within forest reserves be dismantled by the residents, warning that failure to comply would attract sanctions.
Engr. Taiwo Oludotun, the state commissioner for forestry, gave the warning to farmers living in the reserves as well as village heads (Baales) in his office in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
Oludotun stated that the government is taking steps to remove all cocoa plantations within forest reserves, underlining that only tree plantations are permitted within forest reserves.
Contributing, Timothy Olatunji, permanent secretary Ministry of Forestry, noted that all illegal residents in the enclaves should leave, while those who are authorized to stay should ensure that their ground rent is revalidated.
Idowu Ogunde, speaking on behalf of the Baales, assured the ministry of their cooperation with the current government to guarantee that tree plantations within the forest are safeguarded and cocoa plants are removed.