By Lola Omowaye
In a bid to ensure that maximum revenue generation is derived from flitching business, the Ondo State government has set up a four-man committee to streamline and regulate the sale of flitched planks across the state.
The Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources, Mr Dally Salau stated this during an interview with The Hope at the weekend.
He informed that one of the tasks before the committee is to determine the modalities on how the government can benefit fully from flitching business.
Salau further stated that the law banning the loading and movement of vehicles transporting flitched sawn planks between the hours of 6pm and 7am have been in existence, noting that this law applies to the moving of Cocoa.
His words: “Law banning the transportation of flitched planks is a long standing one. It also includes movement of Cocoa. These things must not be moved from 6pm- 7 am. You would notice that trailers carrying Cocoa and logs would be packed by the roadside once it 6pm. The law had been existing before now.
“Government is looking at the modalities to use to benefit from flinching and ensure the resources are not in the wrong hands. The committee is set up to determine, among others, how maximum revenue generation can be derive from flinching business.”
It would be recalled that present administration led by Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, had set up a four-man committee to ensure transparency and accountability, streamline and regulate the sale of flitched sawn planks at various gantries in the state.
The committee according to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, Mr Segun Ajiboye, is to be chaired by Dr. S.D. Oloye.
Members are Mr. L.F. Ogundare and Mr. Olu Agunloye, while Mr. J.O. Adeyinka is to serve as the secretary and it function among others is to determine the total number of flitched sawn planks across the state; fix appropriate selling price for flitched sawn planks and ensure that payment is made to the state government’s coffer.
The statement further stated that state government has also banned the loading and movement of vehicles laden with flitched sawn planks between the hours of 6pm and 7am from Monday through Saturday while it also directed that no night plank loading activities should take place anywhere in the state between the hours of 6:00pm and 7:00am of the following day.
The statement read in part: “Outright prohibition of loading and transportation of flitched sawn planks on Sundays in line with extant forestry rules and regulations is to be enforced, while consideration would be directed to owners of flitched sawn planks on their individual merit only, not on group nor association basis.
It warns that anyone or vehicle caught flouting this order will face the appropriate penalty.”