The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) on Monday destroyed a substantial quantity of seized wildlife products, including pangolin scales, leopard, python, and crocodile skins.
This was to discourage would-be wildlife traffickers, boost efforts to protect endangered species, and eradicate contraband activities.
Pangolins are among the most trafficked mammals in the world, partly because their scales are in great demand for traditional medicine in Asia.
The destruction of the wildlife stockpiles, which was through incineration (controlled burning), was carried out by NESREA and her partner, Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI), at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of State for Environment, Iziaq Salako, said the destruction of the items is a powerful statement of the agency’s resolve to protect the environment and conserve the country’s wildlife.
”The destruction of these seized items is a powerful testament to our resolve to protect our environment, conserve our wildlife, and combat the illegal trade that drives species to the brink of extinction.
”We pledge to strengthen our enforcement efforts, enhance our conservation programmes, and raise public awareness about wildlife trafficking,” he said.
Earlier, the director-general of NESREA, Aliyu Jauro, said the illegal wildlife trade was a serious threat to the country’s natural heritage and global biodiversity.
”Nigeria is committed to playing its part in addressing this crisis by destroying these pangolin scales alongside leopard, python, and crocodile skins.
”We send a strong message that illegal wildlife trafficking will not be tolerated, and we will take every measure to protect our unique ecosystems and endangered species,” he said.