Save your supply chain for quick access to risk data in the future. You will also receive notifications about changes in the risk profile of countries in your supply chain. You will need to create a supply chain for each country of origin that you source from.
Specified risks related to 22 sub-categories
Full Timber Legally Risk AssessmentList of Applicable LegislationRisk Mitigation GuideDocument Guide
Nigeria is well endowed with forest resources but the excessive exploitation of these forest resources is a source of concern and threat to the economic, social and environmental importance. From 2002 to 2020, Nigeria lost 141kha of humid primary forest, making up 14% of its total tree cover loss in the same time period . Total area of humid primary forest in Nigeria decreased by 7.4% in this time period. An average annual deforestation rate of 3.5% occurred during that time – one of the highest rates of loss in the world. 99% of Nigeria’s forest cover is naturally regenerating forests, while plantations being only a small share of forest cover.
Forest ownership is split between two broad categories: public and private forests. Public forests are those owned by public organizations and include forest reserves and national parks. Forest reserves are mainly established by Nigeria’s states. While state forestry laws also allow the establishment of local government reserves to be owned by local governments and community reserves to be owned by communities, the general practice has been to establish forest reserves owned by states. In designating forest reserves, the state governments have recognised the roles of local governments and communities in forestry management, although these are subjected to the guidance and control of the State governments . Nigeria’s 13 national parks are managed by the Nigeria National Park Service (NNPS). Private forest owners include individuals, families, communities, private co-operatives, corporations and other business entities, private religious and educational institutions, pension or investment funds, NGOs, nature conservation associations and other private institutions.
It is estimated that the total forest area is 21 627 000 ha, while Forest reserves are 10,138,841 ha which is about 10.9% of the total land area of Nigeria.
It should be noted that forest within the forest reserves vary according to ecological classification, and forest reserves in the Savanna and Sahel regions have less timber resources than those in the lowland rain forest areas of southern Nigeria. Forest reserves are owned by the State Governments and managed the State Forestry Departments (SFDS) who have professional and technical staff. The reservation of land for forestry purposes was at its peak during colonial times. Efforts to increase the size of the reserves (forestry estate) since then have not been successful.
The bulk of the forestry products and services are obtained from the management of the forest reserves. Some of the major products include poles, sawn wood, veneer and fuelwood. However, these products are also obtainable from "Free Areas " of the country. Free Areas are forested areas that are not under strict management by the SFDs. However, permission to exploit trees from Free Areas still have to be obtained from SDFs. The total area in free forest areas in Nigeria is 12,14 million ha. Free Areas provide additional sources of forest products and services and considered to be very important for private forestry development. Some of the areas have been targeted as Potential Plantation Areas (PPAs).
Nigerian forests support a wide range of forest industries, including both the formal and informal sub-sectors. A vast majority of the Nigerian populace depend on these industries thus placing pressure on the forest resources of the nation. The formal sector is well-developed. It comprises mechanical wood industries, including sawmills, veneer and plywood manufactures, and particle board, paper, and paper board manufacturers. The informal forest sector is the country’s largest user of wood (most of which is burnt as fuel) and non-wood forest products. Forest industry is essentially controlled by the private sector in Nigeria.
Most of the sawmills have been fully depreciated, The major challenge facing the industry is that it lacks the capacity to process small diameter logs from forest plantations. Plantation wood will become more important as the large diameter trees become increasingly scarce. At present, the recovery rate of the sawmills is less than 53%.
Forest Management in Nigeria
Until recently, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (FMANR) played an important role in land use planning and forestry development through the Federal Department of Forestry. The Federal Department of Forestry is now a department of the Federal Ministry of Environment (FME) and under this arrangement, the FME operates through several Departments whose activities are coordinated at the National Council on Environment (NCE). The NCE is the highest environmental policy-formulating organ in the country and is chaired by the Honourable Minister of Environment. At Forestry level however, the National Forestry Development Committee (NFDC) is the highest organ and is responsible for policy initiation and co-ordination in the forestry sector of Nigeria
The Federal Constitution of 1954 gave forest management roles to the constituent regional governments; subsequently transferred to state governments upon their creation in 1967. A broader National Forest Policy was adopted in 1988 and encouraged states and local governments to develop their own forest laws and policies in the context. However, it was observed that most states and local government authorities (LGAs) failed to designate reserves
In 1899 the British colonial administration established the first Federal Department of Forest (FDF) to oversee forestry administration. However, the enactment of the Forestry Ordinance of 1938 led to the establishment of forest reserves by State governments, local governments and communities and provided the basis for sharing the management of existing forest reserves. The Federal Department of Forestry (FDF) was created in 1970 and co-ordinates forestry activities throughout the country. Its functions are to initiate and to formulate national forest policy and land use planning, foster forestry, and environmental development, promote and fund projects of national interest, co-ordinate and monitor State Forestry activities of Federal – foreign-funded projects and institutional development. To facilitate field operations under forest projects either by the Department or in collaboration with the State Forestry Services, a field office exists in all the 36 States.
The 1999 Constitution defines the roles of the three-tiers of government in the country but failed to assign forestry management to any tier of government. As forestry management is neither in the exclusive legislative list nor in the concurrent legislative list, the States have assumed the overriding power to legislate on forestry management as a residual matter. As a rule, the laws made by sub-regional governments must not conflict with Federal laws
In 1999, FDF was transferred from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (FMANR) to the Federal Ministry of Environment (FMoE) when it was created as a new Ministry. Today, although the Federal Government may not have forestry reserves, the roles for forestry management in the country are shared by the three-tier governments. These roles are examined briefly below.
Roles of Government and communities in Forestry Management
Federal Government: The Department of Forestry in the Federal Ministry of Environment has the mandate to formulate national policies on forestry, execute advice on State Forestry Departments (SFDs) on forestry management and is responsible for maintaining relationship with international development agencies. Its other functions include land-use planning; forestry development and environmental management; the formulation and funding of projects of national interest; the co-ordination and monitoring of forest activities arising from internationally funded projects; research, training and education; trade and industrial development; and institutional development. The Federal Government has no forest reserve but facilitates the administration of forest revenue in the eight (8) National Parks in the country.
State Governments: Since 1999, SFDs/ State Forestry Commissions became domiciled in the States’ Ministry of Environment but some are still under the State’s Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources (MANR) in States that are yet to establish their own Ministries of Environment as prescribed by the Federal Government. Regardless of their location, the roles of the SFDs include the enactment and implementation of forestry legislation, managing timber and wildlife resources and revenue collection from the forestry sector in their states. SFDs are faced with crippling financial resources to perform their functions. The challenge of funding and shortage of manpower prevents application of modern forestry management techniques. While southern states emphasize log harvesting; states in the north focus on establishment of tree plantation for firewood collection, environmental protection and livestock production.
Local Governments (LGAs): The National Forest Policy provides that Local Governments shall establish woodlots to protect watersheds and river courses; protect forests and farm trees in arable land against fire and illegal felling of trees; and protect wildlife against poaching. In the north and south regions, managing forest resources includes receipt of the revenues generated from forest produce. In the north, forest reserves are confined to Free Areas subject to supervision and control by the SFD and at times under the guidance and directives of the Chief Conservator of Forests for the state, who then takes responsibility for its proper protection, control and management.
Communities: The forestry laws also provide for the establishment of forests reserves for the communities, which must be held in trust for them by the state governments.
Nigeria is at present a wood deficit nation. In order to ameliorate the situation, the policy on forest resources management and sustainable use is aimed at achieving self-sufficiency in all aspects of forest production through the use of sound forest management techniques as well as the mobilization of human and material resources. The overall objectives of forest policy are to prevent further deforestation and to recreate forest cover, either for productive or for protective purposes, on already deforested fragile land. These policy objectives have been well enunciated and appear well meant and the means for achieving them have been well articulated. Indeed, one of the strategies for achieving the consolidation and expansion of the forest estate was the expansion of the forest estate from 10% to 20%. This so far has remained elusive. For the above policy or objectives to be achieved, significant legal and policy changes are needed.
Gaps and limitations in existing legal framework
Both federal and state laws have become outdated and cannot adequately address the development pressures such as alternative land uses, social change and increasing demand for forest products, including wood fuel. Even though the National Forest Policy is updated, the revised National Forest Act has not been developed yet.
A variety of deficiencies exists in the existing State laws and legislation. It will appear that there is need to review and modify existing forest laws as well as evolve new legislation to harmonise the overlapping responsibilities of the Federal and State Government, Local Councils and the various multi-purpose parastatals for forest resources.
Several legality risks are present in Nigeria's timber supply chains. The risks are wide-ranging and appear across all categories of law. If you are sourcing timber from Nigeria you should take care to ensure the extensive risks identified are not present in your supply chains or have been sufficiently mitigated. VIEW LESS
FSC certified area:
0 ha, updated April 1, 2023