From: Bamidele Fashube, Abuja
Dr. MUHAMMAD Abubakar, the Minister of Environment, has directed Forestry Department in the Federal Ministry of Environment to release five million seedlings of various species within 72 hours to the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna.
The Minister, who received the NDA delegations led by Maj. Gen. Jamilu Sirham in his office, said the seedlings would be released to NDA within 72 hours.
“In line with Military protocols of immediate effect, I am directing the forestry department to commence the release of five million seedlings to the prestigious military academy within the next 72 hours,” Abubakar said in a statement issued by Saghir el Mohammed, Director Press of the Ministry in Abuja.
He described the move as part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s target of planting 25 million trees in 2020, adding that it would mitigate the effects of climate change in the country.
The Minister also assured the NDA that the ministry would partner and collaborate with it in the area of effective waste management, among others.
According to him, though, Nigeria is battling with Coronavirus, climate change is still far worse than COVID-19.
“Long after coronavirus might have gone, there will still be climate change issues.”
The minister said that the ministry has been taken very proactive measures in waste management, 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.
“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 stressed that the task of decontaminating and disinfecting the NDA campus was the Ministry’s responsibility, and not something that the NDA management should ask or show appreciation for.
“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 whenever you come to us. For you to undertake the greening of your environment shows that you are ambassadors of climate change action.”
In his remarks earlier, Sirham and the delegate the visit applaud the Minister and his team for disinfecting and decontaminating the NDA campus.
“The ministry’s kind gesture has boosted the morale of cadets, as they are now assured that the environment they are kept is safe.”
He said that as part of its desire to totally green its campus, the school management has mandated every cadet to plant at least 100 trees.
Shirham, also pleaded for the Ministry’s partnership to organise an international conference on security and environment, saying that cause of insurgency around Lake Chad region was due to deforestation and ‘badly’ degraded environment.