Vice-Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (Unizik), Awka, Prof. Okechukwu Esimone, has called for more synergy between the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and town planners towards afforestation.
He said this at the commencement of Forest Restoration Under Green Recovery Nigeria (GRN) project in Awka on Friday, October 21, 2022.
Some 4,900 trees were expected to be planted in three states – Anambra, Kwara and Edo – under the project funded by the Stanbic IBTC Bank.
Esimone, represented by Mr Ralph Okeke, the Director, Physical Planning, Unizik, advised town planners to always make provision for trees planting spaces in residential and business plots.
He said that if Nigerians could plant trees around their homes, it would help the ecosystem and mitigate the impact of climate change.
Esimone said that the university was involved in research in partnership with other institutions on ways of checkmating the problems of climate change.
He lauded the NCF for its commitment to the partnership, saying that the university would provide more land for agriculture as well as forest reserve to achieve eco-friendly environment in its campuses in Awka and Ifite-Ogbari.
“We embrace the partnership with NCF because the world is concern over the problem of climate change and the effects is all over the world,” he said.
Dr Joseph Onoja, the Director-General, NCF, said the project was aimed at encouraging afforestation in Nigeria.
He said the project was also targeted at combating erosion ravaging communities in parts of Anambra state.
According to the DG, Stanbic IBTC Bank is funding the project which the group is collaborating with Unizik on the 2022 afforestation in Anambra, Kwara and Edo.
“Under the project 1,400 trees will be planted in Nnewichi, 1,000 in Unizik Awka campus, 2,000 in Patigi, Kwara and 500 in Okomu, Edo,” he said.
He said that erosion was one of the negative impacts of climate change, environmental degradation and unsustainable lifestyle.
Onoja said, it was for this reason that NCF was clamouring for a change of attitude to nature, creating more awareness on the dangers inherent in treating the environment badly.
“Apart from the tree planting, we are developing programmes that could mitigate the impact of climate change.
“We all need to come together to as a society to protect the environment, plant trees, and doing things that could help check the impacts of climate change,” he said.
Onoja said that the Green Recovery Nigeria (GRN) would be extended to four other states in the South-East as well as other states across the country.
By Francis Onyeukwu