Nigeria has taken further step to discourage trafficking in endangered species and encourage the culture of preservation.
The government has also increased the penalties for violations the law on trafficking on the endangered species in line with today’s realities.
Amendment to the law on the endangered species now in force would deter people from trafficking in endangered species because endangered species are the preserves of the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday assented to the Endangered Species Control of International Trade and Traffic Amendment Act 2016, earlier passed by the National Assembly.
Sen. Ita Enang, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), said on Friday in Abuja that the Act was one of the 10 bills forwarded by the National Assembly to the President.
He said that with the approval, the President had completed work on all the bills sent to him for his consent.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that with the signing of the Act, President Buhari had so far signed 17 bills into law in 2016.
NAN recalls that the President in November signed eight bills into law which included the Prevention of Crime Amendment Act 2016 and the National Crop Varieties and Livestock Breeds (Registration) Amendment Act 2016.
Others are the Telecommunications and Postal Offences Amendment Act 2016, and the National Agricultural Land Development Authority Amendment Act 2016.
Others are the Produce Enforcement of Export Standards Amendment Act 2016, the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute Amendment Act 2016, Bee Import Control and Management Amendment Act 2016, and Water Resources Amendment Act 2016.
The President also signed another eight bills into law, on Dec. 20.
The bills included National Judicial Institute Amendment Act, 2016 and Advertising Practitioners Registration Amendment Act, 2016.
Others are Utilities Charges Commission Amendment Act, 2016, Quality Surveyors Registration Amendment Act, 2016 and Small and Medium Scale Industries Development Agency Amendment Act, 2016.
Others are Treaty to Establish African Economic Community Relating to Pan African Parliament (Accession and Jurisdiction) Amendment Act, 2016, University of Abuja Amendment Act, 2016 and Chartered Institute of Stock Brokers Amendment Act, 2016.
Commenting on the signed bills, the Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki, who had earlier met with the President behind closed door, assured that more progressive bills would be passed by the National Assembly in the coming years.
“It shows in part, what we have been able to do in the National Assembly and there are many more bills to come and the President is also responding to it.
“You are going to see more of that in 2017, there are a lot of bills lined up.
“For us in the Senate for example, in the last session just this last three months we did much more than what we did in the entire year.
“The National Assembly is settling down and as such you will see much more bill passed for the President to sign.”
Saraki, who joined President Buhari to perform the weekly 2-Raka’at Juma’at prayer at the Villa Mosque, described the fall of Sambisa forest as a great feat.
“This is a great progress from where we are before. If you look at where we were a year and half ago, the challenges we had in that area for us to recapture the place, I think is a great feat.
“It shows what we can do as a country when we have the commitment, purpose and the leadership required to do that.
“As we have done that in the North East, I believe the other issue before us is the fight against corruption, the economy, providing jobs, peace in the Niger Delta,’’ he said. (NAN)