The Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibrin has commended the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW) on its programmes to mitigate the menace of desert encroachment.
Jibrin said this in a statement issued by Larai Daze in Abuja.
The minister spoke while on a monitoring tour of some of the 11 frontline states of the agency’s programme.
Jubrin, who visited Sokoto and Kebbi States, two out of the frontline states participating in the GGW programme, said the programme was significant because of its holistic approach.
The NAGGW is Nigeria’s agency established to implement the Great Green Wall (GGW) Initiative, which include to address land degradation and desertification and to boost food security.
The GGW is Africa’s flagship initiative to combat the effects of climate change and desertification.
According to him, the programme is not only about tree planting, but also about improving the livelihood of people in the area as well as to promote alternative and renewable sources of energy.
He noted that the varieties of trees planted were doing well even in an environment where the land was degraded and had lost its fertility.
“The achievement is because of the dedication and commitment of the NAGGW toward ensuring that the programme succeeds and the programme should be driven fully by the states governments with active support from the Federal Government.’’
He said the Federal Government would be a facilitator of the programme as it was optimistic that the existing partnership was beginning to yield results going by what was on ground.
The minister stressed the need for the partnership to continue in order to counter the menace of desert encroachment.
He called on other states apart from the 11 frontline states that were likely to encounter desertification to initiate programmes to avoid environmental hazards.
“The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the policy on gas along with petroleum to lay a solid gas provision, including piping to convey gas for domestic use which will go a long way to reducing the use of fuel wood in the near future. FEC has also approved a new initiative of Afforestation programme that will come up with a law to prohibit exportation of wood.’’
He called on the media to step up in propagating the Afforestation programme.
The statement also quoted Mr Goni Ahmed, the Director-General, NAGGW who conducted the minister round as saying “the agency is trying its best in ensuring that the plants were sustained to attain the mandate of the Pan African Great Green Wall programme’’.
According to him, the project like any other government project has suffered some challenges of theft and vandalism.
“On several occasions, the agency has replaced stolen submersible pumps, fencing wires, taps and many others.’’
He urged people of the states and communities to protect the facilities installed in their domain by the Federal Government as they would take ownership of the projects when completed.