THE Minister of Environment, Hajiya Amina Mohammed, on Thursday expressed serious concern that over 1.5 million trees were being cut down daily across the country. She expressed the feeling at 2016 Tree Planting Campaign organised by the Ahmadu Bello University held at the main campus of the institution in Samaru, Zaria, Kaduna State.
The campaign has “Go Wild For Life: Zero Tolerance For Illegal Trade In Wildlife” as its theme. It also has “Reawakening Campaign For Sustainable Tree Planting” as its sub-theme. The minister, who was represented by the Minister of State, Ibrahim Usman-Jibril, recalled that initially, green belt in Nigeria had covered over 40 per cent but that less than five per cent of it survived presently.
The minister, who identified desert encroachment as one of the greatest factors that ignited the conflict between cattle breeders (Fulani) and farmers in Nigeria, called for collective efforts to curb the menace. Mohammed commended ABU for maintaining a greenish environment and solicited the collaboration of the university toward actualising the Great Green Wall.
In his speech, the ABU Vice-Chancellor, Ibrahim Garba, said that trees contributed immensely to peaceful coexistence of man. The vice-chancellor said that ABU was planning to reinvigorate its partnership with Federal and State Ministries of Environment, NGOs and other key stakeholders toward ensuring greener environment.
Garba, who said that the university planted over 630,000 trees in the last 19 years, sought the assistance of the stakeholders in restoring the university’s biological garden. Also in an address, a former Vice-Chancellor of the university, Ango Abdullahi, advocated the establishment of Arizon Development Commission to deal with issues bothering on deforestation.
He added that such body would also deal with social and economic problems of people in the area. According to him, the commission, if established, will strive to address what leads to felling of trees in the area. (NAN)
— Sep 8, 2016 @ 18:50 GMT