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NGO Urges FG To Implement Green Wall Programme

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Africa Desertification Control Initiative, a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO), on Tuesday advised the Federal Government to take a holistic approach to the implementation of the Great Green Wall Initiative.
The Executive Director of the NGO, Mr. Umar Dahiru, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen  in Abuja.
Dahiru said that a holistic implementation of the initiative would ensure its success and sustainability.
He said the advice became necessary considering that about 21, 000 squares kilometers of land was affected by desertification yearly going by statistics from experts, describing the situation as “alarming’’.
The Great Green Wall Programme (GGWP) is a project developed by the African Union to address social, economic and environmental impact of land degradation and desertification in the Sahel and Sahara zones.
Dahiru said that the project would be implemented in 11 African countries and would cover about 7,775 kilometres in length, 15 kilometres in width over a total area of 11, 662,500 hectares.
The project is also expected to be implemented in 11 front line states in Nigeria. The states are Adamawa, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi and Yobe.
“It is a gigantic project; my advice for the Federal Government is to give it a holistic approach because serious problems like desertification needs serious attention but I think the government is doing well in that respect.
“I learnt that the Federal Government had made provision to source and plant 10 million seedlings this year for their own part of Great Green Wall Initiative component, which I think is a good development.
“All the same, I think the National Assembly is making effort to establish a commission to combat desertification and erosion control, which is a very good initiative also.
“Desertification is a major environmental problem we are having in this country apart from other environmental issues like erosion, oil spillage and other things.“
Dahiru said that the security challenges in the northern parts of the country should not be allowed to affect the implementation of the Great Green Wall Initiative in the 11 front line states.
The environmentalist also urged the federal government to ensure that it implemented all environmental policies aimed at mitigating the impact of desertification in the country.
He commended the government for designing “good environmental policies“ but expressed concern at “the lack of political will to implement them”.
“They (Federal Government) should take these issues very serious because when the land is degraded due to erosion, oil spillage, desertification and all forms of land degradation, the resulting effect is that it will affect the livelihood of the people.
“It will render people jobless, and if people don’t have something to do, you know the consequences – there will be social, economic, and security threat to the country.
“The government should always give it the required attention that it deserves; the policies that we have on paper should be fully implemented.
“Also, the people that are capable of doing the job should be placed in the proper positions so that the job could be done effectively; so that we will achieve result at the end of the day.“

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Geoscientists Make Case For Clean Energy

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The Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), has called on Nigeria and other African nations to focus on minerals that are critical to transition to clean and green energy.
Newly inducted President of the society, Alabo Charlesye David Charles said this in Port Harcourt shortly after his induction as the 31st President of the society.
Charles also stressed the need for further linkages between the mining sector and the economy through the development and implementation of the local content policies that promote domestic production of inputs as well as value addition through manufacturing skills building, domestic job creation and participation of small and medium enterprises within the value chain.
According to him, “value addition is pivotal to lifting a good percentage of our people from poverty through the activities of the extractive sector.
Charles said multinational mining companies should be encouraged to engage more closely with local small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as micro businesses as suppliers in the mines value chain.
He said the Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) is ready to partner the stakeholders in the development of the upstream sector of the industry by providing a specialized pool of professionals that policy makers in both the public and private sectors can rely on for quality interventions and delivery.
The NMGS 31st President also called for continuous massive investment in the mining sector
“In Nigeria, from statistics obtained from NAPIMS show already declining investment. So if there is no fresh capital for either brown field or Greenfield investment, we cannot grow production
“If we don’t grow production, the consequence is that we are building a short supply for tomorrow” he said.
Out-gone president of the society, Engr. Simon O. Nkom thanked members for the confidence reposed on the out-gone executive.
Nkom said the NMGS has come of age and calls on members to support the new executive to enable it execute more programmes for the society.
Earlier, Chairman of the occasion, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba said the ceremony will usher in a new era as far as the society is concerned.
Alabraba who was represented by Engr. Main David West said Geoscientists and civil engineers have a lot in common, adding that they must work together to develop the society.
Also speaking, Chairman local organizing committee of the ceremony, Prof. Winston Belgam said the ceremony was a big success.
He said the vision of the new president will transform the society and the mining industry in Nigeria.

By: John Bibor

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A’Ibom Spends N10bn On Erosion Control – Commissioner

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The Akwa Ibom State Government has spent N10 billion on erosion control projects in the state in the last nine months, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Charles Udoh has said.
Udoh told The Tide source in Eket that the money was spent on two major sites – Etim Umana erosion and St. Luke Hospital control projects.
“In the last nine months or so, we have spent close to N10 billion on erosion and the two major sites are Etim Umana Erosion and St. Luke Hospital erosion control projects,’’ he said.
The commissioner noted that businesses, houses and critical infrastructure had been displaced by erosion and flood in the areas.
According to him, more cities in Akwa Ibom are prone to gully erosion due of the natural topography and soil texture in those locations.
“This automatically means that whenever there is down pour, we are in the rain belt, gully erosion will become a problem,’’ he said.
He said building of houses on the right of way and farming on the slope of gully were some causes of gully erosion.
Udoh said the IBB Avenue flood control project, if not checked, could have a spill effect on erosion control.
“We are receiving a major drain to evacuate flood water because if you allow flood water to be there (IBB avenue) for a long time, it will begin to heat the crux of the earth surface.
“Then erosion will begin to prick in, especially in a place like Uyo that the soil texture is loose,’’ Udoh said.
The commissioner said the state government had rescued more than 100 houses, entire St. Luke and School of Nursing in Etim Umana from erosion.
On ecological issue, he noted that the state government alone could not solve the state’s erosion problem, adding that it was seeking for intervention (ecological funds) to do that.

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World Desertification Day: FG Restates Commitment To Tackle Environmental Challenges

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The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring lasting solution to environmental challenges by adopting a sustainable land management practices across the country.
Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, spoke at the commemoration of 2021 World Desertification and Drought Day, organised by his ministry in Abuja.
Abubakar said the government had developed policies, plans building institutional and legislative capacities to enhance effective and far-reaching actions to reduce the impacts of desertification and drought on the citizenry.
According to him, government recognises the importance of partnership in tackling desertification and it has facilitated the involvement of other actors, including the private sectors as well as donor organisations.
Abubakar said the government was concerned about the disruption of ecological system caused by poor land use, population pressure and the devastating activities of insurgents in the North-Eastern part of the country.
He said that the government was also worried about the dire consequences of land degradation, loss of lives and means of livelihood and had put in place the North-East Development Commission.
Abubakar added that the effort was to restore human dignity and bring succour to the people living in the area.
He urged Nigerians to cultivate the culture of planting trees as well as ensuring that any tree cut down was replaced, as this would serve as protection from windstorm and erosion.
 
Matazu said that the effort would help to protect fragile ecosystem and ensure sustainable environmental development of the country.
The theme of the 2021 World Desertification and Drought Day is: ‘Restoration, Land, Recovery’, ”We Build Better with Healthy Land’’.

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