Former minister of Environment and current UN deputy secretary general, Amina Mohammed has denied reports about her involvement in a massive $300 million illegal exportation of African rosewood from Nigeria to China.Mohammed was in hot water on Friday after the Environmental Investigation Agency released a documentary detailing the role the former minister played in signing thousands of backdated permits in January 2017 which were used to clear the illegal export into China.
Speaking to theCable, Mohammed said she instead spent her time at the ministry to battle Illegal exportation of Wood. She said;
“No permits were backdated or illegally signed by me. We are therefore appalled if any legally obtained or forged certificates were used by unscrupulous rosewood traders to circumvent exportation procedures,” she said.Not only do I decry fraud and corruption, we also categorically reject any allegations of corruption or coercion in our effort to better address illegal logging and exportation.
I categorically deny receiving any bribe. It has never been in my character. I never demanded neither did I collect any bribe, either cash or material”.
She said the first thing she noticed after her appointment as a minister was the level of deforestation. She said;
“One of the first issues I had to deal with was deforestation. It was a huge concern as Nigeria was losing its forest cover at an alarming rate… For me, protecting the environment is sacrosanct. ”