In a significant move to combat the illegal ivory trade in Nigeria, the Federal Government conducted the destruction of stockpiles of confiscated elephant ivory valued at $9.9 billion on Tuesday.
During the exercise in Abuja, Aliyu Jauro, Director General of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) emphasized that the destruction of 2436.15 kilograms of ivory serves as a deterrent to those involved in the wildlife trade.
Jauro highlighted that a considerable portion of the items destroyed were not sourced from Nigeria but trafficked along Nigerian roads, underscoring the country’s commitment to tackling the global issue of wildlife trafficking.
“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 stated.
The Minister of State for Environment, Kunle Salako, expressed pride in Nigeria’s leading role in the fight against the illegal ivory trade. He emphasized that the ivory crush symbolizes Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to wildlife conservation and the protection of its 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,” Salako asserted.
He further pointed out the economic impact, stating, “Economically, it is only when we manage our natural gifts in a circular manner that we can sustain our economy. The 2.5 tons 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.”