The Honourable Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibrin has commended the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW) on the activities of the Great Green Wall programme.
The Minister who was on a monitoring tour to Sokoto and Kebbi States, two out of the 11 frontline States participating in the GGW programme, said the programme is very serious and significant because of its holistic approach. He said the programme is not only about tree planting but also about improving livelihood of the people and promoting alternative and renewable sources of energy.
He noted that the variety of trees planted are doing well even in an environment where the land is degraded and has lost its fertility, saying that it is because of the dedication and commitment of the NAGGW towards ensuring that the programme succeeds. He insisted that the programme should be driven fully by the state government with active support from the Federal Government. He said the federal government will be facilitators and believe that the existing partnership is yielding results from what is on ground so far. He urged that the partnership should continue so as to counter the menace of desert encroachment.
He called on other States apart from the 11 frontline states that are likely to encounter desertification to embark on series of environmental activities to avoid environmental hazards. He said the Federal Executive Council 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
He said the FEC has also approved a new initiative of Afforestation programme and to come up with a law to prohibit exportation of wood. He called on the media to step up in propagating the Afforestation programme.
The Director General, NAGGW, Mr. Goni Ahmed who showed the Minister round some of the project sites in Angwan Lalle, Sabon Birni LGA of Sokoto State and Bachaka in Arewa LGA in Kebbi State said the Agency is trying its best in ensuring that the plants are sustained to attain the mandate of the Pan African Great Green Wall programme. He said the project like any other government project has suffered some challenges of theft and vandalisation saying on several occasions the Agency has replaced stolen submersible pumps, fencing wires, taps and many others.
He called on the States and Communities to take seriously the laudable efforts of the federal government saying that at the end they are to take ownership and so should guard and protect the facilities brought to their domain.
Head, Press and Public Relations
9th August, 2017