© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Chinese company finally shut down illegal charcoal production in Enugu after ICIR’s investigation
A CHINESE company, Kwo Chief Investment Limited, has finally shut down its illegal charcoal production at Obimo in Nsukka local government area of Enugu State.
The company’s termination of the operation comes after three months that The ICIR’s investigation exposed the unauthorised massive felling of trees for charcoal production.
At the time The ICIR conducted investigation into the environmental threats by the Chinese company, the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) said it was unaware of the charcoal production, and would not act against the company without a petition, despite the fact the company was producing charcoal without obtaining the necessary permits as specified in official policy.
The exposure led to public outcry that forced the NESREA to move against the company. In a press release on May 8, NESREA claimed that the facility had been shut down. The ICIR, however, obtained evidence the following day that the company was still in operation.
Aliyu Jauro, the director general of NESREA, had told The ICIR that the agency actually sealed off the facility in April but he was unaware that the company had continued the charcoal production. He thereafter assured that the agency would send enforcement team again to the charcoal factory.
On getting information about the pending visit by NESREA’s officials, the Chinese deserted the charcoal factory on May 16 and have not returned since then. NESREA’s officials subsequently visited the facility on May 23.
NESREA claimed that the operators of the illegal charcoal production would soon be prosecuted but findings by The ICIR showed that no Chinese has been yet arrested.