Taraba State Commissioner for Tertiary Institutions, Mr Edward Baraya, has urged tertiary institutions in the state to create advocacy for tree planting in their respective localities to ensure an eco-friendly environment.
Baraya made the call on Friday, July 24, 2020 at a tree planting campaign organised by the Taraba State Polytechnic, Suntai, in its Jalingo campus.
He said that tree planting was not just for beautification of the environment, but also had high health and economic value.
According to him, trees provide highly nutritious fruits, shelter, economic value from export of its produce and by-products and conducive environment for the inhabitants of the earth.
The commissioner, while appreciating the insitution for the initiative, pleaded for its partnership with government so as to take the programme to the local government areas in the state.
“I remember that while I was in primary school, every year we used to have a programme called tree planting. Every student was expected to plant a tree. That is why you find various trees in most of those schools today.
“Unfortunately, a lot of things came into play along the line and the practice is no longer obtainable.
“The question is: What are we doing? We have cut those trees without making any effort to plant again and that why it is necessary for us to intensify tree planting campaign.
“I don’t want the polytechnic to restrict it to the campus, but I want to see how you can assist or partner with the state government so that this can be taken to the local governments in the state.
“This will go a long way in rebuilding the environment and I quite support the decision of the polytechnic to commence tree planting,’’ Baraya said.
In his welcome address, the Rector of the polytechnic, Mr Ayuba Abarshi, said that the initiative was part of the process to replace the trees that had been cut down.
According to him, the programme is the initiative of the institution’s School of Sciences, pledging the readiness of the polytechnic to partner with government in order to have trees planted across the state.
“This is an attempt to ensure that the process of cutting down trees without planting more that is affecting the environment is greatly reduced.
“This is just the beginning. As the years go by, we will be doing it consistently, meaning that it is going to be done on annual basis.
“I believe that as the school sustains this, it is going to help the environment to be more beautiful. Also, where there are trees, you discover that the effects of windstorms will be reduced greatly,” the rector said.
By Martins Abochol