The Federal Government yesterday partnered with Spain on technical support to fight illegal wildlife and other crimes across the country.
Conservator-General of the National Park Service (NPS), Dr Ibrahim Goni, said this when Amb. Juan Sell, Spain’s Ambassador to Nigeria, visited his office in Abuja.
Goni said the partnership would not only help in fighting illegal wildlife, but also reduce illegal mining and other crimes in the country.
He said the NPS had the mandate to partner with other relevant agencies, for effective management and service delivery in Nigeria.
“We will also let him know of our vision, mandates, objectives, the names of the parks and where they are located in the country.
“This collaboration will help to ensure that the incidence of wildlife and other crimes are minimised in the country.
“The NPS had collaborated with the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS), National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA), the Nigeria Police Force, among others, to ensure that the service was successful.
“We can only succeed if there are effective collaborations with other agencies and communities, where the parks are being located, so we make sure the Service works with the people around it, so that we can make progress.
“Currently, there are seven national parks in the country and they are located in various ecological zones of the country.”
This collaboration will help to ensure that the incidence of wildlife and other crimes are minimised in the country.
Goni said the NPS is responsible for managing a great variety of national and international programmes designed to help extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout Nigeria and the world.
He cited illegal hunting and mining, farming encroachment and other crimes, as some of the challenges faced by the Service.
To effectively carry out its duties, the NPS needed additional 3,000 rangers across the country to enhance the protection of the parks.
He also said partnering with the Spanish Government, as well as collaborating with other relevant agencies, would boost the efforts of the NPS to address the challenges.
Goni reiterated the commitment of the Service to achieving its mandates and objectives.
Earlier, Sell explained that his visit was to seek collaboration and strengthen relationships with Nigeria, and seeks to know more about the activities of the NPS.
He also expressed the commitment of Spain to partnering and supporting Nigeria in the area of wildlife and other environmental issues.
He said: “I came to this office because I like everything about nature and I really want to be acquainted with responsible people, so that I can learn more about your work, challenges, aspirations and your worries.
“I am also ready to explore possible ways of cooperating with the office, so that we can fight illegal wildlife and other crimes in the country.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Conservator- General, in company of some of his senior staff, conducted the Ambassador around the parks, while showcasing some of the animals in the park.
Sell was also offered an opportunity to plant a tree in the NPS premises, as part of environmental protection and to encourage Nigerians to always plant trees in their environments.