Illegal timber trade: Amina Mohammed has my full support and confidence – UN boss

The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has supported his deputy and former former Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, following allegations that she was involved in illegal trade of timber in Nigeria.

Background:

  • The Environmental Investigation Agency had claimed in its latest report that the former minister might have been a beneficiary of illegal rosewood exports to China.
  • Minister of the Environment, Usman Jibril, has said Mohammed is not being probed for an alleged illegal export of rosewood logs to China.

The UN’s statement:

The spokesman for the UN secretary-general, Stephane Dujarric, said, “The UN secretary-general was informed by the deputy secretary general about the reports and he reiterates his full support and confidence in her. The deputy secretary general categorically rejected any allegations of fraud. She welcomes the effort to shine more light on the issue of illegal rosewood logging and exportation that she fought hard to address during her tenure in the Nigerian Government.”

Dujarric added, “She said that her actions as the Nigerian environment minister were intended to deal with the serious issue of illegal wood exportation. As a result, she instituted a ban and set up a high-level panel to find policy solutions to the crisis of deforestation in Nigeria.

“Ms. Mohammed said the legal signing of export permits for rosewood was delayed due to her insistence that stringent due process was followed. She said she signed the export certificates requested before the ban only after due process was followed and better security watermarked certificates became available.”

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