The Nasarawa State Government has purchased more than 20,000 assorted tree seedlings for planting to check environmental degradation in the state.
The state governor Umaru Al-Makura disclosed this on Saturday while launching the 2018 tree planting campaign in the state towards controlling desertification and degradation.
He explained that the tree planting exercise would start from Lafia, the state capital in view of the population explosion and its attendant environmental pollution through emission that could only be mitigated by afforestation.
According to him, the tree seedlings would be distributed across the divisional forestry offices in the state for easy access for the exercise to be replicated in all the local government areas.
The governor said that the exercises would also create jobs for the teeming youths as most of them would be engaged to nurture the trees planted to maturity.
“We shall be giving 20 trees each to any interested youth to plant and nurture with a stipend of N300 per tree monthly.
“This implies that they would be paid N6000 monthly to ensure that the trees are nurtured and process would be strictly monitored,” he said.
Mr Al-Makura said the exercise was in line with the World Bank and Federal Government’s Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Degradation, REDD+ programme, which had been domesticated in the state.
He said the state government inaugurated the steering committee for the REDD+ programme and earmarked three forest reserves across the three senatorial zones as natural forest.
“The occasion we are witnessing today, which is a resuscitation of our tree planting campaign is the extension of our commitment to mitigate the recurrent destruction of the Eco-system,” Mr Al-Makura said.
The governor noted that tree planting campaign initiated by the Federal Government more than 30 years ago as a means of addressing global warming and climate change occasioned by human factors was last held in 2012 in Nasarawa, hence the need for its resuscitation.
He, therefore, called on every adult in the state to support the programme by planting a minimum of five trees before the end of the current rainy season.
“It is our estimation that if we all commit ourselves to this initiative, there would be a drastic reduction of environmental degradation in the state within the next five years,” he said.