FCTA to plant 72, 000 trees annually for 10 years
By Cyril Mbah, Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, said it has put in place properly articulated strategies to enable it plant about 72, 000 trees annually throughout the territory in the next ten years to help reduce desertification and the effects of climate change.
According to the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijani Aliyu, the six area councils namely, AMAC, Bwari, Kuje, Abaji, Kwali and Gwagwalada will be the main driving force in the implementation and success of the programme.
Dr. Ramatu disclosed that each area council will be expected to plant and nurture to growth, a minimum of 12, 000 trees annually and ensure strict adherence to environmental protection laws including putting measures to stop or reduce to the barest minimum the rampant felling of trees and bush burning.
The minister disclosed, while flagging off the 2021 tree planting campaign and distribution of tree seedlings at the Junior Secondary School, Kuje that an attractive reward system will henceforth be established to honour the best environmentally friendly area council and those that perform well in the implementation of afforestation and cleanliness programmes.
Dr. Ramatu said she hoped that the annual sanitation reward will stimulate keen competition and participation by area councils in the programme to save the FCT from climate change problems such as low rainfall, soil erosion and desertification caused by scarcity of trees as a result of logging for firewood/charcoal.
She explained that the annual tree planting campaign would support a similar federal government programme which aims to plant 25 million trees across Nigeria in the next ten years to address the effects of carbon emission and climate change.
The minister called on landlords and area council administrations to key into the environmental restoration programme, describing the plan as a critical green revolution scheme that will be profitable to the nation.
The minister who warned residents against engaging in negative practices that promote environmental degradation, soil erosion and the depletion of trees in forests also appealed to landlords and estate developers to make adequate provisions for trees in their building plans.
Orient Daily correspondent observed that the current environmental practices in the FCT, especially within the area councils still falls far below modern standards as heaps of refuse litter the streets for months often blocking pedestrian passages and causing traffic jam while culverts remain clogged and smelling due to filth as many residents repeatedly dump their trash inside gutters.