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Cross River: Forest Research Institute Establishment Bill Passes 2nd Reading

The Bill to establish the State Forest Research Institute has been read for the second time on the floor of the Cross River State House of Assembly.

The motion for the second reading was moved by the sponsor of the Bill and member representing Boki 1 State Constituency, Hon. Bette Philip Obi, who submitted that the forest renders a service to humanity and its importance is enormous including the provision of oxygen, food and nutrition for human existence, as well as, shelter for both man and animals.

He noted that the State owned about 60% of the forest in the country which is the largest but has little or nothing to show for in terms of benefits.

Obi averred that the proposed institute will bring a lot of benefits to the State and the host communities.

Contributing to the bill, members emphasized the importance of establishing the Forest Research Institute in the State, highlighting the benefits, ranging from training of the local forest rangers, general orientation of the conservation of the forest as well as improved revenue profile of the State.

The Lawmakers also reiterated that the establishment of the Institute will provide employment as well as develop the area where the school will be located.

The Assembly Speaker Hon. Elvert Ayambem commended the sponsor of the bill while echoing that the carbon credit from the forest if properly managed will boost the revenue and put the State on the global map.

The Bill was thereafter transmitted to the House Committees on Education and Agriculture to report back in two weeks.

By Mary Bassey, House of Assembly Correspondent