Following reports that Nigeria’s Apapa Port Complex has become the main harbour for the illicit trade in pangolin scales, wild life conservationists believe that Nigerians are not concerned.
Executive Director of Children and the Environment, Sola Alamutu, said the continued killing of the ant eater could lead to the insect swarming the human population.
She said, “Why are we not caring about animals, why are we not caring about the world?
“You know pangolins eat ants. If they stop, ants will be everywhere, ants will over run us.”
Traffic, an organisation that tracks illegal animal trade, said Nigeria is presently responsible for ¾ of all pangolin scales supplied to Asia.
Speaking to Reuters on the increasing departure of ship loads of scales from the most heavily trafficked mammal in the world to Asian destinations, Sule, an assistant controller-general in the Nigerian Custom Service, told Reuters that “Sometimes Nigeria is just a point of convergence.
“There is tight effort at the borders to ensure that such things do not come in again.”
Speaking on the power of the Nigerian Government to curb the trade, Oliver Stolpe, United Nations Organisation for Drug and Crime, told Reuters that the country is battling crime on many fronts and pangolin is just one more.
The trade in pangolins was declared illegal in 2016. It has been defined as a vulnerable specie in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large.