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FG Establishes Indigenous, Exotic Tree Plantations In 36 States — Malam Balarabe

THE Federal Government said it has established plantations of both indigenous and exotic tree species in the 36 states of the federation.
The Minister of Environment, Malam Balarabe Lawal, disclosed this at the opening of the 45th Annual Conference of the Forestry Association of Nigeria (FAN), in Katsina on Tuesday.
Lawal, represented by Mrs Bosede Olukanmi, a Deputy Director in the ministry, said that the action was geared towards supplementing the natural forests and providing forest products for domestic and international market demands.
He also said that it was geared towards creating jobs for the teaming youths in the areas were the plantations were established.
The minister said that forestry contributes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), of the country, hence, its role in the  Nigerian economy can never be overemphasised.
According to him, it creates employment and provides foreign exchange earnings through experts.
Lawal said,”It will interest you to know that owing to the reawakened and renewed demand of the country’s woods in recent times by China, Vietnam, India, Nigeria has been listed as one of the exporting countries of woods and charcoal to these countries.
“This is with a view to provide forest products to feed domestic and international markets.”
In his remarks, Dr Afolabi Tajudeen, President of the association, disclosed that over the years, the association had sounded the alarm  against abuse, misuse and collective damage to the forests.
“Nigerians have continuously treated the forests as if it is an inexhaustible resource, forgetting that though renewable, it is potentially destructible.
“Our actions and inactions have resulted in an inclement environment which now breeds disease and pests that pose danger to human existence.
“On the economic side, the unsustainable management of our forests has resulted in the loss of fertile lands, leading to declining agricultural productivity, job losses, rural-urban drift and the creation of urban slums with their attendant implications to our society
“Sadly, forestry administrators at all tiers of governments in Nigeria are virtually in comatose,” he said.
Similarly, Gov. Dikko Radda, said his administration was ready to partner with the association to protect and preserve the natural forest in the state.
Radda said that the government had set up a committee to recover the forests encroached across the state.
“We are now waiting for the committee to submit its reports for the government to implement recommendations,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the conference had as its theme “Forests for National Wealth and Job Creation”. (NAN)

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