National Park Service Board assures of improving security in national parks

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The Chairman, Governing Board, National Park Service, Ben Nwobasi, says the management and its board are working hard to improve security in the various parks in the country.

Nwobasi disclosed this to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja after a board meeting of the NPS which was called to chat the way forward towards improving the service to international standard.

He noted that adequate measures were already being taken to equip rangers who work tirelessly in protecting, preserving and conserving the country’s natural resources in the various parks.

“We want to see how our rangers can combat bandits in our parks, by protecting the areas we are managing.

“We are not afraid of the bandits, poachers, loggers. We are confronting them on a daily basis. We are doing our best to make sure that the bandits leave the parks for us,” he said.

Nwobasi said that recently some rangers at Okomu national park were kidnapped, adding that some of them had regained their freedom except for one.

He said that the parks management and board were doing everything possible to ensure that the ranger who is still being held captive got released.

According to him, the parks management was also collaborating with other security agencies to ensure that the parks were properly secured.

The board chairman added that staff welfare as well as measures in harmonizing issues pertaining to staff welfare were also discussed the meeting.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by Jokotola Pelumi, Hussaini Gambo, Dr Ibrahim Goni, Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano.

Others were Kabiru Ayuba, Prof. Kehinde Abiodun Emmanuel Nwakanma, Mrs Ruth Ndam, John Daniel and Simon Joshua.

NAN recalls that Dr Mohammed Goni, the Conservator-General, National Park Service said at an event in Abuja recently that the International Rangers Federation had disclosed that about 120 rangers had lost their lives in the line of duty from August 2020 to 30th July, 2021 across the globe with Nigeria accounting for 17 deaths out of this figure,’’

Also speaking at the same event, Mohammed Abubakar, former minister of environment, noted that government was fully aware of the numerous challenges of park rangers, which he said ranged from contending with poachers, loggers, miners, grazers, to trekking long distances, inadequate patrol vehicles, use of obsolete firearms, inadequate modern equipment and inadequate manpower.

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