Nigeria’s Minister for Environment, Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, on Friday, 5th June, 2020, in commemoration of World Environment Day 2020, donated a million tree seedlings to the Government of Kaduna State. He said it is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s pledge at the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to plant twenty five (5) million trees nationwide, to combat deforestation while boosting afforestation.
The Minister was received at the Kashim Ibrahim House by the governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries of Kaduna State’s ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Justice.
The Minister and his entourage were hosted by Governor El-Rufai in the state council chamber. Dr Mahmood stated that the choice to flag off the donation to states of the Federation with Kaduna State was deliberate, because of the unwavering support that the Governor has given the programme. The geographical location, status, and policies on environmental sustainability of Kaduna State, also influenced the decision.
Dr Mahmood advised that in the fight against climate change, the full participation of every citizen is necessary, regardless of age; rich and poor, weak and strong, leaders and followers. Dr Mahmood also commended the state government under the leadership of Mallam Nasir El-Rufai for its efforts on infrastructure, especially the construction of roads.
He said the donation was just the beginning, and expressed confidence that Nigerians would contribute their efforts and work together for the good of the country.
In his speech during the event, while accepting the 1 million tree seedlings, Mallam El-Rufai disclosed that the forest cover in Kaduna State was 5%, well below the globally recommended standard of 25%. He expressed gratitude to the Minister for the kind gesture. He said that people usually forget their states of origin as soon as they become Ministers, but Dr Mahmood has been otherwise, always on hand to provide any necessary support and advice.
Malam El-Rufai, in his usual practical approach, promised to call on the minister to come over to assess the trees after one year of the utilization of the tree seedlings.
The Governor also suggested that the Ministry of Environment be entrusted with the responsibility of managing the ecological funds.
Reforestation is absolutely necessary for the maintenance and protection of the biodiversity of the country, at a time that the fears of climate change mounts.