//Godwin Ekosin, Kaduna//
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday lamented poor tree planting among the Nigerian populace, saying the aftermath effect already with the country.
Mr President, who expressed this yesterday in Kaduna while launching the ‘Keep Kaduna Green Project’, quickly described the project as bold step that would reverse the deforestation trend in the country.
Buhari, who spoke through the Minister of Enviroment, Hajia Amina Muhammed, decried that Nigeria has the highest rate of deforestation in the world.
“I would like to begin by thanking His Excellency the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai and the good people of the State for inviting me to flag-off this laudable project. Enviroment is one of the six core pillars of this economy, thus underscoring the importance to the Change Agenda.
“The initiative in Kaduna State today is a clear example of state government contributing to the enviroment component of our economy.This initiative further underscores the importance of taking climate action and creating jobs for our teeming youths. This a worthy and timely project given the challenges and opportunities it provides to Nigeria. Nigeria has the highest rate of deforestation in the world”
“It is on record that the rate of deforestation is about 3.5% per annum. The implication of this is that about 350,000-400,000 hectares of forest,equivalent to 576 million trees are lost annually.The environmental challenges that come with this include desertification,erosion,flooding and reduction in perspiration and contribution to drought. All this bringing untold hardship on communities and the environment.
“We have the collective responsibility to act and put a stop to this menace. Keep Kaduna Green project provide a window of opportunity for reversing deforestation,” Buhari added.
In an address, Governor El-Rufai said the Keep Kaduna green project is an important project to the state as trees play a critical role in the protection of water sources among others hence the readiness of his administration to engage about 26, 000 people to plant arable trees, nurture and harvest to help themselves.
“There is need for necessary awareness to preserve trees and for people to know that trees should be protected.
“26 thousands people are to be engaged in planting and nurturing the trees, this is going to beautify the city and provide jobs. Communities will be mobilize to take action that will protect trees.
“We have chosen economic trees, so that those that will nurture them will have a stake.
El-Rufai said government is working to ensure citizens plant trees and flowers within their environment, revealing that soon tree planting would be key to approving building plans in Kaduna State.
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