KADUNA – The Minister of Environment, Mr. John Odey has commended Vanguard Newspapers over its initiative in combating desertification and dryland degradation in the country.
Speaking at a Workshop on the implementation of the National Afforestation Program and Potentials of Partnership on the Program in the 11 Frontline States affected by Desert Encroachment, the Minister stated that the Workshop was critical to implementation of the Program in the dry regions of the country.
He said, “I strongly believe that for our programmes on combating dryland degradation to succeed, strong and viable partnerships cannot be compromised
“The Presidential Initiative on Afforestation is a critical step towards reversing the natural resources degradation trend in the country, especially in the 11 frontline States.
“We are therefore convinced that this workshop will mark the beginning of evolving a very strong and workable partnerships needed for this and other projects in the drylands.
Speaking on Nigeria’s efforts at implementing the African Union Desert Initiative, the Green Wall Sahara Programme, the minister revealed that the Federal Government would soon embark on a number of activities including desert farming, promoting sustainable rural energy needs and other livelihood opportunities that are critical in up-scaling socio-economic activities in the affected communities.
The minister was represented at the workshop by the Director of Drought and Desertification Department, Dr. Bukar Hassan.
In his welcome remarks, the Assistant General Management of Vanguard Media Limited, Mr. Fred Odueme, stated that the media outfit was concerned by the enormity of the challenges being posed by the expanding desert.
He disclosed that the media organisation had mapped out plans to organise various fora across the 11 Frontline States to enhance awareness on collaborative efforts to arrest desert expansion in the country.
Various stakeholders at the workshop commended the collaboration of the Federal Government with Vanguard on the issue of desertification. They pointed out that such approach would help in enhancing enlightenment and awareness on how to tackle the problem and promote the efforts at tackling the challenges of desert encroachment.
All the 11 Frontline States were present at the workshop.