MINISTER of the Federal Capital Territory Administration(FCTA), Senator Muhammad Adamu Aliero is set for war with the management of the Power Holdings Company of Nigeria (PHCN) plc over what he described as indiscriminate felling of trees in the nationâ€™s capital City, just as he has threatened to sanction them over the act.
Aliero who noted that the act was totally unacceptable to the government and even in line with international laws, stressed that the FCTA spent money, time, energy, among others in nurturing the affected trees to maturity for PHCN to just wake up and cut them withoutÂ permission from the FCTA.
The Minister also disclosed that arrangements have been concluded for the introduction of payment of fees by residents on the use of assess roads in the Federal Capital Territory, adding that the administration must source for revenue as it can no longer rely on only governmentâ€™s revenue, just as he stressed that people must pay for services they enjoy. Addressing Journalists in Abuja the Director, Parks and Recreation, Isa Shauibu noted that if the act persists, the administration would be left with no option than to invoke the provision of the law againstÂ PHCN.
The PHCN had recently embarked on massive felling of some environmental friendly trees which according to them, have been hindering its installations in the Asokoro and other districts of the territory but cutting down a tree in Abuja according to FCT law attracts a fine of N50, 000 and the Company has cut down over a thousand trees leaving them where they are. Shauibu who noted that the Minister has been worried over the development, stressed that PHCN was not in any way authorised to carry out the felling of the trees.
â€œThe Power Holdings Company of Nigeria (PHCN) has been carrying out unauthorised trees felling against our normal rules and regulations. What we expected from them is to report to the department and they explain that they want to carry out certain activities; they have to be guided because there are standard ways of felling trees rather than go to the base of the tree and cut it off.
â€œSome of these trees may even be lost because they may be exposed to infections and eventually may not grow again. There is a compelling need for them to always draw our attentionâ€ he said.
Shaibu who lamented that most of the trees cut might have been endangered and may not regenerate again also berated PHCN for not removing the trees after felling them, saying â€œthe company should exercise caution and restrain in preserving its equipment in the city.
â€œThe Minister has already handling to ensure that this does not continue, we have to caution them, we cannot just cut them at will because it cost money and time to nurture them to the level they are.
â€œWe appreciate the fact that they have to protect their power lines but they have to do it in a civilized way that we donâ€™t have to compromise our natural environment for the built environment simply because the master plan had recognized the need to do this landscapingÂ which is not only for beautification but for cooling too.
We are all concerned about the global warming and this is our humble contribution to check the global warming and if we use our own hands to destroy the efforts we have made I donâ€™t think it is proper.
â€œAnother negative effects of this act is that when they cut these trees they donâ€™t remove them and this is given us serious headache to clear the vegetation that has caused. We are removing it at FCT cost and it dents the FCT image as if we are not living up to our responsibilityâ€, he added.