The federal government has promised to tighten regulations against illegal trade in endangered species of wildlife.Director-general of National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Prof Aliyu Jauro, stated this in Abuja when he received a team from the Anti-Smuggling Bureau (ASB) of General Administration of China Customs (GACC) and Economics Criminal Investigation Department of the Ministry of Public Security China led by Sun Zhijie, in his office.
Jauro noted that NESREA has developed and operationalised regulations to control the International trade in endangered species, which was highly commended by the CITES secretariat.
He listed the directive as the National Environmental (Protection of Endangered Species in International Trade) regulations S.I. No.16, adding that it was ranked as Category 1 by the CITES secretariat.
The DG stated that the agency also facilitated the establishment of inter-agency committee on CITES enforcement, comprising all regulatory agencies in Nigeria, saying that collaboration with other agencies to combat wildlife crimes was in progress.
He expressed concern that several Chinese nationals had been implicated in the illicit trade, noting that Nigeria's partnership with China would end illicit wildlife crime.
On his part, the leader of the Chinese delegation, Sun Zhijie, hinted that the essence of the visit was to work out modalities with the Nigerian government to end transnational wildlife crimes.
He pointed out that China has strict laws against illegal trade and its officials were capable of ending the menace.
NESREA is the designated enforcement authority for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of wild fauna and flora in Nigeria.
Nigeria domesticated the convention through the enactment of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1985, which has been reviewed.