LAGOS—THE Nigerian Conservation Foundation, NCF, Sunday, expressed worry that Nigeria is losing about a half kilometre of its land mass annually to desert encroachment and time is of the essence before the entire country becomes a desert.
The Director-General of the NCF, Muktari Aminu-Kano, raised the alarm in Lagos.
He made the disclosure at the 2018 edition of the Green Ball series with theme: ‘Green Recovery Nigeria: Restoring Mangroves and Reclaiming the Desert.’
Aminu-Kano said: “Green Recovery Nigeria is our push to bring the agenda that Nigeria is pathetically loosing 95 per cent of its forest cover and we have only five per cent left.
“350,000 hectares of land are being lost annually to desertification and the land lost is about 0.6, which is about half a kilometre every year.
“If you think you live in Lagos and it cannot reach you, it will only take some time. Imagine the annual movement of 0.6 kilometres.”
In his speech, Chairman of the NCF Board of Trustees, Philip Asiodu, recalled that Nigeria entered an agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organisation in 1988 to restore 25 per cent of its forest cover.
Asiodu said: “There is a lot of work to do to persuade the government into action.”
The wife of the Lagos State governor, Bolanle Ambode, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Environment, Abiodun Bamgbose, thanked NCF for its efforts at addressing environmental issues.
Mrs Ambode said: “The Lagos State Government does a lot of tree planting every year. All multinationals should rise and support this fight because government alone cannot do it.”