The Botanical Society of Nigeria (BOSON) says it will plant five hundred thousand trees across the country.
Its President, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, made this known in Sokoto at the opening of the 25h Annual Conference of the society.
The conference’s theme is: ”Repositioning Botany for Economic and Environmental Transformation of Nigeria”.
”The tree seedlings were donated to the society by the Federal Ministry of Environment.The exercise will cover the entire country and 20,000 of such trees will be planted in Sokoto State. The gesture is aimed at helping to mitigate the effect of climate change, desertification, flooding, gully and coastal erosion, among others,” Ogundipe said.
He noted that trees have many advantages ranging from economic, ecological, medicinal, among others.
”The society is venturing into applied science to help in solving some of the problems in the society like plant allergies and the impact of global warming on the ecosystem,” he said.
Prof. Alhassan Gani, Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Kashere, Gombe State, said that plants help to nurture and nourish the environment.
”The society is key to the ongoing diversification of the economy, boosting food security and taming the global warming,” he said.
Also, the Vice-Chancellor of Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Prof. Abdullahi Zuru, said that plants play overwhelming benefits and roles in the natural ecosystem.
”This is because, life depends on plant and its products directly or indirectly. The conference’s theme perfectly reflects the current realities of the world and Nigeria.The dwindling oil reserves and the fall of oil price in the international markets have dealt a heavy blow on the Nigerian economy as witnessed in the current recession we are experiencing. Hence, the need to diversify the economy, especially with agriculture as the fulcrum for recovery and growth,” Zuru said.
Prof. Alfred Oteng-Yeboah of the Department of Plants and Environmental Biology, University of Ghana, Legon, advised the society to be actively involved in the national economic, social and environmental activities.
”I also expect the society to be projected into a force of conscience for national development, at least in this era of sustainable development,” Oteng-Yeboah said.
The high point of the event was the flag off of the planting of trees in the North-West by Zuru and Ogundipe.