The Department of Forestry in the Federal Ministry of Environment has said that it established 872 hectares (ha) of forest tree plantations across the county by 2018.
Director of the department, Mr Andrew Adejoh, who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday, August 2, 2019 said this was made possible through the combined efforts of the department and the Forest Research Institute of Nigeria.
“In terms of direct afforestation and deforestation, we were able to secure some resources from the Green Bond to plant between five and six hectares in some 10 states of the federation.
“The green bond is a source of funding from outside normal budgetary resources and it is investor’s contribution. Like I said we have 10 states: FCT, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Enugu, Anambra, Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo and Edo.
“That project has commenced, they have done the planting; what they are doing now is they are going into the second weeding.
“You know the demands of weeding are different based on the rainfall. So, they are on different levels of weeding in those areas.
“On the average, between last year and now, we have established 60 hectares and to say that it is not only the department that is involved in forest plantation at least at the minimal level.
“The Forest Research Institute of Nigeria is doing a great job in expanding our forest cover; they are doing plantings and to the extent that the last count by last year, we have all collectively established 872 hectares of forest plantations.’’
He said the department was also supporting states to reforest degraded areas.
He called on every Nigerian to be involved in tree planting, adding that it would help to improve their health and the environment.
“It is just a plea with the general public to take the trees and cumulative forests as important to our lives as much as if not greater than the food we eat because it is the forest that provides a sustainable soil with appropriate nutrients for you to grow your foods and make good product from it.
“So, Nigerians should be more conscious of how they treat the trees around them how they clear trees for building constructions because by the end of the day they will suffer for it.
“And it is not good that we live the society worse than we met it. So, let’s go out there, plant more trees and see how we can improve our individual health and environment.’’
By Okeooghene Akubuike