I am genuinely pleased with the approval given by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR to the National Agency for the Great Green Wall to launch the planting of 26 million trees, in fulfillment of the President’s commitment at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Indeed, this is desirable evolution especially to those identified in the eight Northern states, which include Borno, Jigawa, Katsina, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara.
The approval for planting 26 million in the above mentioned northern states by this administration, which is meant to save the climate and to absorb carbon dioxide deserves applause and commendation in this crucial moment of COVID-19 pandemic.
It was approved at the right time; but the commencement of the project matters.
The whole of the northern region is currently in the rainy season, which is sufficiently adequate to flag up the planting.
I have 12 recommendations for both the federal and state governments as follows:
1- Review of forest law for effective monitoring;
2- Discouraging the use of firewood through the provision of an alternative energy sources;
3- Introduction of forestry curriculum in schools conservation studies;
4- Improvement in the conversion techniques with a view to minimising wastages of off-cuts;
5- Public enlightenment through religious preachers, traditional rulers and other enlightenment facilities;
6- Provision or increase in hazard allowance for foresters;
7- Review and implementation of forest policy;
8- More protection activities to deter illegal fellers;
9- Regular monitoring of forests and foresters;
10- Public awareness through media against cutting down trees and its consequences;
11- Mass mobilisation of the youths or citizenry towards forestry development; and
12- Great Green wall shall quickly start season.
Conclusively, it is unfortunate that more than 65% of Nigeria’s population use firewood for cooking.
Therefore, we have to make more trees available to combat all kinds of air and soil pollution for our survival.
It is now left for us to be committed in nursing and caring for the young seedlings to maturity.
Abubakar Wada Azare is a legislative aide in the National Assembly (firstname.lastname@example.org