Powerful people are encouraging deforestation in states – FG

Powerful people are encouraging deforestation in states ? FG

The federal government has blamed its failure to stop deforestation in the country on powerful people it claimed protects loggers that produce charcoal for sale.


Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, who said this on Thursday, March 30, while appearing at the 69th edition of the Inter-Ministerial Media Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said there’s always a pushback at the subnational level each time the federal government tries saving the environment. 


Abdullahi revealed that five million trees had been planted, adding that urbanization and agricultural activities had posed challenges to the target.


He reaffirmed the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to achieving its target to plant 25 million trees by the year 2030 under its afforestation policy.


The statement read; 


“No other administration has tackled this issue like the Buhari administration. The challenge we are facing under deforestation and charcoal is engaging Nigerian Governors Forum because of the Land Use Act. 

“The federal government is just a policy provider and doesn’t have that control over state government land to work out a modality which Kaduna State government has keyed in properly.

“It has invested some hectares of land to plant and we are working with the local governments. So, we are projecting other states will follow suit.

“What we further did to have some level of control, apart from timber legal standard, we have what we call DFTA, which is essentially to track in areas where there is so much pressure on our forests.

“After tracking it, raise red flag and then engage those communities and the state governments so that a solution can be brought and have and a level of arrest of the continuous challenge to our forest.“What we did not tell you, is that the activities of the people in the charcoal business with all due respect are being supported by a number of powerful people in the sub-national level. And if we try to do some level of enforcement, they will tell you, we own this territory, you are federal government and you cannot enforce your rule and policy on us.

“So, that is part of the challenge in terms of controlling these activities. But in spite of this, the task force is still there, going after some of them on ad-hoc basis, trying to find out who and who is involved, who licensed who. We are doing our best to curb the situation.”

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