By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria.
The Minister of Environment Hajiya Amina Mohammed has expressed serious concern over incessant felling of trees in the country.
The Minister stated this at 2016 annual Tree Planting Campaign of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) with the theme “Go Wild for Life: Zero Tolerance For Illegal Trade In Wild Life” and sub-theme: “Reawakening Campaign For Sustainable Tree Planting” held at the main campus of the institution in Samaru, Zaria in Kaduna State.
Represented by the State Minister, Alhaji Ibrahim Usman-Jibril, she lauded the efforts of University for maintaining greenish environment for many decades.
He stressed the need for issues between herdsmen and farmers to be addressed through afforestation to pave way for calmness in the society.
In his message, Gov. Nasiru el-Rufa’i of Kaduna State said his administration was targeting planting about 1.5 million seedlings of trees every year in the next three years.
El-Rufa’i, who was represented by the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Manzo Daniel said they have already commenced planting of 1.8 million trees this year to effectively tackle desert encroachment.
“Our plan is to plant 1.8 million seedlings this year and only trees that are used to respective environment that will be planted. We shall continue to plant not less than 1.5 million seedlings annually.
“Kaduna is really threatened environmentally, in view of the fact that most of the states neighboring Kaduna up-North are already affected by desertification,” he said.
El-Rufa’i said the seedlings to be planted would be provided to people free of charge, adding that people were already trained on how to plant the trees and they would in turn train the larger society.
The governor said his administration would use the programme to create employment opportunities to over 30,000 unemployed youth who would be engaged in the exercise.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of ABU, Prof. Ibrahim Garba observed that trees contribute immensely to peaceful coexistence of man.
The V-C said the university was planning to reinvigorate its partnership with federal and state ministries of environment, non-governmental organisations and other key stakeholders in the industry towards greener environment.
While assuring that over 630,000 trees were planted by the university in the last 19 years, Garba seek assistance from stakeholders to restore the university’s biological garden.
Also in an address, the former V-C of the University, Prof. Ango Abdullahi advocated for establishment of Arizon Development Commission to deal with issues of deforestation, apart from social and economic problems of people in the area.
According to him, the commission, if established, would strive to address what lead to felling of trees in the area.
By; SANI ALIYU, Zaria.