The Federal Government has promised to partner with the Chinese Government to strengthen legal trade and tackle illegal wildlife trade activities across the country.
Dr Mohammad Abubakar, the Minister, Federal Ministry of Environment, who received the Chinese delegates in Abuja, said that the visit “is welcome and a fruitful one’’.
Abubakar, who was represented by the Minister of State, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, said that the visit would benefit the two countries in terms of wildlife trade activities.
According to him, the visit is to strengthen partnership between the Nigerian and Chinese governments in tackling illegal wildlife trade.
He said that Nigeria had less than 400 elephants, adding that the partnership would increase the numbers of wildlife in the country.
“I welcome you once again to Nigeria, actually wildlife trade is one of the important things in the world, and it has one of the largest numbers of participants which is about 183 participating countries.
“To us in the ministry, we are ready and committed to partner with the Chinese government and I am assuring you that we will work together to achieve our utmost goal.
“We are losing a lot of wildlife due to illegal trade. I am glad that China is leading the world in the wildlife trade activities and has come to partner with Nigeria.
“I know that this working relation will not only enhance the wildlife activities, but will give an opportunity to share better experience that will bring development in the country,’’ Abubakar said.
He promised the delegation that the Federal Government through the ministry of environment would put necessary measures in place to ensure effective compliance and implementation of the wildlife trading activities.
He also promised to help tackle illegal wildlife trade activities effectively.
“The ministry will like to take you to our National Park before you go back to your country, so that you will see what is happening over there,’’ the minister said.
Mr Li Shuming, the Vice Administrator, National Forestry and Grassland, China, said that the aim of the visit was to ensure a mutual relationship between the two countries in the area of wildlife trade activities.
Shuming said that the essence of the partnership was to combat wildlife crime in the country, and share more experience that would promote and strengthen wildlife trading activities among the two countries.
`This is the first time my country is visiting Nigeria on the issue of wildlife trade and I believe we will have fruitful deliberations.’’
He said that China had set up a National Park Administration, adding that in the nearest future more parks would be created.
The vice-administrator added that the Chinese government had 1,844 Panda and 293 elephants, adding that the partnership would help to increase wildlife trade between the two countries.
Shuming, however, urged the Nigerian government to cooperate with his government, adding that the effort would enhance a good working relation and promote development in both countries.
Editing by Oluyinka Fadare/Grace Yussuf https://nnn.ng/nigeria-china-to-partner-to-tackle-illegal-wildlife-trade/