Ekiti State Commissioner for Natural Resources, Gbenga Agbeyo, said on Monday that the state government had impounded 497 illegal planks and 16 logs of Teak billets allegedly evacuated illegitimately from forests in the state. Agbeyo assured that the perpetrators, who escaped on sighting his vehicles, would be fished out and sanctioned accordingly.

The commissioner said that the planks and logs were confiscated at Araromi Ogbechi in Ekiti East Local Government Area while he was on a tour of Forest Offices in Ikole, Gbonyin and Ekiti East council areas. He stressed that the planks would be sold only on the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

He frowned at the illegal act, which he said had drained the resources of the state revenue. Agbeyo said, “The Dr Kayode Fayemi administration is poised to improve the internally generated revenue of the state to assist in embarking on meaningful projects that will further impact positively on the lives of the people.

“The state government will ensure the blockade of all loopholes to curb all leakages of IGR. I implore people with the intention to engage in such nefarious acts to desist as government will deal decisively with anyone caught engaging in such reprehensible act.

According to him, his tour of the forestry resources, with the intention of curbing illegal activities in the forests across the state became necessary having noticed the abysmally low revenue gathered from the forestry sub-sector.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Olufemi Osasona, who accompanied the Commissioner on the tour, expressed dissatisfaction with the illegal activity.

He also warned forestry officers and members of the community where the illegal activities take place to stop colluding with the perpetrators. Osasona ordered full security for the confiscated woods as he urged the forestry officers to expose the bad eggs in their midst.