Uyo — To prevent the loss of over $10 billion yearly due to the neglect of the wildlife sector of the economy, the Federal government has been tasked to look inward for other sources of revenue through proper management of the wildlife protected areas in the country.
The Business Manager of the Wildlife Management Society of Nigeria (WIMSON), Dr. Edem Eniang stated this in Uyo, the Akwa-Ibom State Capital while speaking with newsmen. According to him, if the Federal government properly harnesses the sector it would generate over $10 billion annually for the country.
"The country has seven protected areas of global status, but we don't generate much from that sector. We have observed that the volume of illegal wildlife trade in the country is on the increase, denying the country billions of dollars yearly", he said.
He lamented that tourism potential in the country-protected areas are yet to be fully harnessed and Protected Area policy is largely outdated and requires proper review.
Dr. Eniang who is a lecturer in the department of forestry, University of Uyo, appealed to all tiers of government to exhibit political will and implement wildlife conservation policy in the country, assuring that, WIMSON will ensure that global best practices are applied in all dimension of wildlife captive management.
"Professional and experts converged at University of Agriculture Abeokuta recently and formerly launch Wildlife Management Society of Nigeria (WIMSON) to assist government in wildlife conservation. Prof. Ibukun Ayodele and Prof. Pius Egwumah were elected President and Vice President respectively while Dr. Omotola Jayeola emerged as the association's Secretary", he explained.
The economy of Kenya and South Africa, he said, are sustained from wildlife conservation and tourism. He observed however that, inadequate funding, poor staff commitment and corruption have hindered proper functioning of protected areas in the country.