By Bose Adelaja
The Federal Government of Nigeria in collaboration with The World Bank, on Monday, reiterated determination to address environmental degradation in19 states of the country including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
This will be done through the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) Project launched recently.
Mohammed Abdullahi, Minister of Environment, disclosed this during ACReSAL Project Technical Work Plan Workshop which took place in Victoria Island, Lagos State.
He said the project will be handled by the Federal Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Water Resources.
The Minister enjoined Nigerians to avoid degradation of the environment which has been causing climate change.
Among other things, he said the project will also provide food security through motivated agricultural activities in the areas of concentration. He said, “What we intend to do is to try as much as we can to get the various committee, participants and the beneficiaries motivated in agricultural activities. Now, the effect is that if they are not profitable, there would be more agricultural disaster and food shortage which will be terrible for us,”
Also, speaking, Dr Iganya Joy, Senior Environmental Specialist, The World Bank, said ” The most important part of the project is about building institutions, sustaining issues around land degradation, livelihood and others.
“The component of the project is totally dedicated to institutional support and management,” she said.
She said the project will be funded by the Bank and urged beneficiaries not to allow their political and personal interests to over-ride the project.
Dr Salisu Dahiru, Director General, National Council on Climate Change, said the project is aimed at reversing land degradation in semi -arid land of Nigeria, “most people will be surprised that the project is not only covering the extreme North where you have desert and desert encroachment. It also covers the central region of the country where you have states like Kogi, Kwara, FCT, Nasarrawa and Benue.
Anda Yalaks, Acting National Project Coordinator, said the outcome of the workshop will be passed to the steering committee for deliberations. “We are here to ensure that what will make us to deliver on this project is put in place and this will lead us to the Bank where the bank will grant us its ‘No Objection’. That is the approval given by the World Bank after which the project, ACReSAL,
will be ready for disbursement and project implementation. This will take place in 19 states and FCT,”
Samuel Okorie, Communications and Policy Advisor, Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment, GLOBE Nigeria, said the company will provide policy platforms, actualisation and recommendations that will actualise the project.
Among the objectives of ACReSAL is to increase the implementation of sustainable landscape management practices in targeted watersheds in northern Nigeria and strengthen Nigeria’s long-term enabling environment for an integrated climate-resilient landscape.