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Illegal wildlife trade hits over $150bn yearly — Workshop

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Illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be more than $150bn per year globally, with Nigeria contributing heavily to it.

This was disclosed at a workshop in Calabar, led by Abimbola Animashawun of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and National Contact Point for the World Customs Organisation and Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for West Africa.

The workshop noted that as an important transit country for the illegal wildlife trade from Central Africa to China and Vietnam, Nigeria has attracted international criticisms and sanctions, and has recognised that despite the number of arrests and seizures made by Customs, prosecution has been weak.

A statement arising from the workshop signed by the Country Director, Nigeria Programme of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Mr. Andrew Dunn said: “The elephant population across Nigeria and the rest of Africa has declined by 90 percent in the last century due to hunting for ivory.

“Due to its porous borders, Nigeria has become an important transit country for ivory trade from Central Africa to China and Vietnam. There have been some huge seizures of ivory recently, illegally shipped from Nigeria. This includes 3.5 tons of ivory from Nigeria seized in Singapore in March 2018, with a value of N900m.”


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