By Vivian Emoni, Abuja.
The Federal Government on Saturday inaugurated a nine-member presidential committee to implement Nguru Ecological Intervention project in Yobe State.
The Minister of Environment, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, who inaugurated the project in Abuja, urged stakeholders to support the government’s efforts to address environmental issues.
Abdullahi commended Emir of Nguru, Alhaji Mustafa Kyari, for asking for ecological funds to mitigate climate change impacts and restore degraded lands in the area.
He said that the Federal Government was committed to tackling climate change and environmental challenges, food security and other socio-economic problems across the country.
He said that the government was dedicated to improving the general wellbeing of the citizens, adding that the commitment was clearly demonstrated through various policies, programmes and initiatives by the ministry.
“It is also being demonstrated by President Muhammad Buhari’s directive to the effect that this committee should be established.
“However, we acknowledge the fact that government alone cannot do it. Collaborative partnerships of all stakeholders, including our royal fathers, are critical.
“It is thus heartwarming that what is happening today is at the instance of a royal father.
“I am, therefore, particularly excited about the concern and zeal of His Royal Highness, the Emir of Nguru, to identify with our vision.
“The effort is to make life better for the generality of our people through restoration of degraded lands, mitigation of climate change impacts as well as improvement of livelihoods,” he said.
The minister recalled that the Emir of Nguru, on behalf of the Forest Farmers (Nguru) Cooperative Society, requested for ecological funds for reforestation of degraded land to mitigate climate change impacts in the Emirate.
He said that the land was cleared in 2017 through intervention of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to enable implementation of the livelihood project called “Rural Agriculture Re-modelled Project Strategies”.
“This request is in conformity with the vision and development agenda of the present administration, especially the attainment of Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and global emission reduction.
“Mr. President has graciously directed that an inter-ministerial committee, comprising relevant ministries and agencies, be set up.
“This is in regard to consider this lofty request and come up with recommendations, which must include but not limited to the modalities for its implementation and cost-implications,” he said.
Abdullahi said that the committee, which involved various ministries and agencies, was expected to submit its report by Jan. 27.
He said that the committee should produce results that would assist in the delivery on the assignment and in the achievement of the far-reaching government policies on environment and climate change.
“I congratulate you for being counted worthy to be part of the team, as we collaborate and make contributions towards safeguarding our environment and enhancement of wellbeing of our citizens,” he said.
The minister, however, urged the committee to ensure that the project’s site was accessible for on-the-spot evaluation to identify key intervention areas.
He added that the committee should liaise and work with relevant organisations for funding interventions, while producing a detailed plan of action, including financial implications.
He also advised the committee to ensure that a comprehensive technical report, including recommendations, was submitted to him accordingly.
The emir thanked Buhari and the minister for granting his request graciously, adding that the project was all about how to tackle the environmental problems.
He said that the inauguration would enhance in the implementation of the project, while expressing the hope the the next administration would continue with the execution of the project.
The Chairperson of the committee, Mrs Sami Umar, who spoke on behalf of the committee members, thanked the minister for the opportunity given to them to handle the national assignment.
Umar, who is the Director of Forestry in the ministry, pledged that the committee would work diligently and concertedly to ensure that the successful implementation of the project.