The Federal Ministry of Environment is to assist the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) with over five million seedlings of various species, as part of efforts to meet President Muhammadu Buhari’s target of planting 25 million trees in within the year 2020, to mitigate the effects of climate change in the country.
Minister of Environment, Dr. Muhammad Mahmood Abubakar, made this known recently in Abuja when he received a delegation of NDA’s top management led by its Commandant, Maj. Gen. Jamilu Shirham.
“In line with Military protocols of immediate effect, I am directing the Forestry Department to commence the release of the five million tree seedlings to the prestigious military academy within the next 72 hours,” the Minister emphasised.
Dr. Abubakar also assured that the Ministry was willing and ready to partner and collaborate with NDA in the area of effective waste management, among others.
According to the Minister, even though Nigeria is battling with coronavirus, climate change issues are still far worse than COVID-19.
He said that, long after coronavirus might have gone, there would still be climate change issues.
Dr. Abubakar further noted that the Environment Ministry has been taking proactive measures in waste management and particularly, recycling.
“With the concept of circular economy, we have, from the three Rs which are reduce, recycling and reuse, moved further into repair and recover. So, the economy has changed from the standard production, usage and disposal. We cannot afford that anymore as it is detrimental to climate action, environment and the country’s resource base,” he added.
The Minister, while pointing out that both the military and environment must have synergy to be able to achieve their peculiar objectives, said the task of decontaminating and disinfecting the NDA campus is the Ministry’s responsibility, and not something the NDA management must ask or show appreciation for.
His words: “I can assure you that, from this moment, there will be a permanent partnership and collaboration between the Environment Ministry and the Armed Forces of Nigeria. We will do everything humanly possible to assist you whenever you come to us. For you to undertake the greening of your environment shows that you are ambassadors of climate change action.”
Earlier, Maj. Gen. Shirham, disclosed that they came to thank the Minister and his team for disinfecting and decontaminating the NDA campus.
According to him, the Ministry’s kind gesture has boosted the morale of cadets, as they are now assured that the environment they are kept is safe.
The NDA Commandant, equally added that, as part of its desire to totally green its campus, the school management has mandated every cadet to plant at least 100 trees.
However, he appealed to the Minister to assist them with five million seedlings, so that they can realise their laudable goal.
Shirham, while seeking the Ministry’s collaboration to organise an international conference on security and environment, maintained that part of the reason insurgency is rife around the Lake Chad region is due to deforestation as the whole area is “badly degraded”.