Nigeria to outlaw indiscriminate deforestation

Indiscriminate cutting of trees in Africa
Indiscriminate cutting of trees in Africa

The government of Kwara State, North Central Nigeria, says it will enact a law that will curb the activities of charcoal dealers in the state in efforts to guard against deforestation.

Governor of the state, Abdulfatah Ahmed said this in Ilorin, the state capital on Wednesday when he launched a tree planting campaign to mark this year’s International Day of Forests.

According to him, the law has become imperative in order to discourage indiscriminate tree felling to make charcoal.

Ahmed expressed displeasure over activities of charcoal dealers in the state and emphasised the need to properly regulate the charcoal business.

He, however, pledged that the state government would do everything necessary to support charcoal dealers in doing their business legitimately without harming the environment.

“Government will encourage afforestation through massive tree planting by schools and government agencies, while also strengthening the forestry department of the State Ministry of Environment,’’ he said.

In his remarks, Alhaji Isiaka Amasa, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, said that tree planting activities were part of the United Nations (UN) programmes aimed at promoting the sustainability of life and the ecosystem.

He said that the Ministry would distribute tree seedlings to schools as part of the activities lined up by state government’s Clean and Green Programme to mark the International Day of Forests.

Amasa advised the people of the state to set aside one third of their land as “green area’’, as part of efforts to check the consequences of climate which included excessive heat.