The Nasarawa State Government has banned the use and sales of charcoal in the state to protect the environment.
Mr Aliyu Agwai, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, announced this while addressing newsmen on Saturday in Lafia.
He said that the process of producing charcoal is harmful to the environment by destroying the climate and increasing global warming.
Agwai noted that the burning of charcoal, especially, would produce harmful emissions.
“Cutting trees can result in the loss of habitat for animal species, which can harm the ecosystems.
“Almost all the land animals and plants live in forests and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes,” he observed.
He warned those selling and using charcoal to desist to avoid prosecution in case of violation.
He lauded the residents of the state for the level of compliance with the sensitisation programme on environmental sanitation.
“Usually every last Saturday of the month is set aside for sanitation exercise, but we brought it back to today because of the Christmas celebration,” he added.
Agwai said that all roads to the state were blocked to prevent motorists from other states from passing but they had been opened after the sanitary exercise.
“We only allowed those with permission from the relevant ministry, or on essential services to pass and move around during the exercise,” he said.
Meanwhile, a mobile court, handling environmental-related cases, has prosecuted 32 persons suspected to have violated environmental sanitation laws in Lafia.
The Prosecutor, Mr Abubakar Mohammed, who is also a Chief Environment Officer, told the court that the suspects were transacting their private businesses while the sanitation exercise was in progress.
Mohammed said that the offences violated Section 9(2), of the state Environmental Sanitation Law.
He urged the court to sanction them accordingly to serve as deterrent to others.
The Judge, Mr Abdullahi Lande, convicted and sentenced them to six months imprisonment respectively with the option of a fine of between N5,000 and N50,000 respectively.