Minister Calls For Improved Management Of The Environment

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Balarabe Lawal.

ABUJA, Nigeria – Mediaage NG News – Minister of Environment, Balarabe Lawal on Thursday called for improved measures in taking care of the environment, acknowledging that previously, it has been a poor management of the environment.

He also said it is vital that degraded lands, polluted lands and dried rivers are recovered, there is need to improving proper planning to avert future occurrence.

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MediaageNG Minister Calls For Improved Management Of The Environment ABUJA, Nigeria - Mediaage NG News - Minister of Environment, Balarabe Lawal on Thursday called for improved measures in taking care of the environment, acknowledging that previously, it has been a poor management of the environment.
From right to left – Dr. Joy Ajene (right), Balarabe Lawal,(the Minister), Mrs. Didi Jackson (Permanent Secretary), representing the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Engr. Joseph Terlumun Utsev.

“Towards an efforts to recover most of our degraded lands, there’s no limit to what we can do to improve on planning. How do we recover our rivers that are drying up in the country, especially in the north? I mentioned the issue of lake Chad which is very close to my heart. It is one of the largest lakes in the world and if we are not careful, lake Chad might disappear in our lifetime”, the Minister said this at the Agro-Climatic Resilience In Semi-Arid Landscapes(ACReSAL) Project event held in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.

“Lake Chad is now more than ten percent of what it was before. I think we have a very serious climate crisis in Nigeria”, he added.

The event was a gathering of stakeholders of the federal and states steering/technical committees organised by the Federal Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Food Security, Water Resources and Sanitation in collaboration with the World Bank.

MediaageNG Minister Calls For Improved Management Of The Environment ABUJA, Nigeria - Mediaage NG News - Minister of Environment, Balarabe Lawal on Thursday called for improved measures in taking care of the environment, acknowledging that previously, it has been a poor management of the environment.
the minister in a group photograph with stakeholders and representativES from the 19 northern states

It aimed at sharing the achievements and progress made so far by ACReSAL and to keep all the Commissioners of the 19 northern states and the FCT in attendance abreast of the project development objectives, institutional arrangements and their respective roles and responsibilities as the project lead implementing agencies.

The Minister also had reservations on the issue of afforestation and the uncultured manner of open defecation, due to lack of public toilets, and said “it’s a mirage hoping that by 2030, lots of public toilets would have been built around the country, going by what is currently witnessed today”.

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However, he was optimistic that if more efforts were made, 2030 target would be a reality.

“We are coming up with policies to that effect. A lot of private companies, agencies are working with us to get a lot of toilets in the country”, he said.

“We are doing well in the area of afforestation even though there is need for more collaboration. We have the great green wall and other international agencies giving us support. We are also working very hard in cooperation with countries like Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, amongst others”, the Minister added.

MediaageNG Minister Calls For Improved Management Of The Environment ABUJA, Nigeria - Mediaage NG News - Minister of Environment, Balarabe Lawal on Thursday called for improved measures in taking care of the environment, acknowledging that previously, it has been a poor management of the environment.
the Minister in discussion with dr. Joy Ajene

Project Coordinator, Abdulhameed Umar, while detailing the milestones of ACReSAL in his address, said its achievements is structured on four pillars. Pillar One he said comprises of component A which is aimed at addressing watershed degradation in targeted areas of northern Nigeria, also focusing on addressing challenges in the region.

“We have made milestone achievements – project investments. We have validated implementation of designs in one state, conferences have been held in six states that include Kano, Jigawa, Plateau, Bauchi and Yobe, over 4000 hectares of degraded land are being reclaimed”, he said.

“Component B entails areas pertaining community strengthening and investments. Activities that build community resilience to climate change and support their livelihoods.

“We have achieved 610, 489 beneficiaries and 45 percent of that were derived from women. States have conducted several community engagements and ownership because, the project is community driven.

“Contracts have been signed by the Nigerian government and Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) to restore 350,000 hectares of degraded landscape. FAO are poised to ensure that this is delivered. We have initiated collaboration with IITA.

MediaageNG Minister Calls For Improved Management Of The Environment ABUJA, Nigeria - Mediaage NG News - Minister of Environment, Balarabe Lawal on Thursday called for improved measures in taking care of the environment, acknowledging that previously, it has been a poor management of the environment.

“One of our achievements today will be signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NEP to tap on their wealth of experience.

“Component C entails institution and policy strengthening, we have done a lot there. The project have been launched in Plateau, Bauchi and Gombe States and the governors are heavily interested because, this is a state driven project”, Mr. Umar revealed.

Operations Manager, World Bank, Nigeria, Taimur Samad, while commending ACReSAL for the strength in gathering stakeholders to the event, described its activities as ambitious and transformational.

“It’s important to bring stakeholders across the states and federal levels, focusing on the integration of sustainable agriculture management throughout the country, particularly in the northern states, he said.

“This is a very important program for the World Bank in terms of increasing the quality and resilience of landscapes in other parts of the country.

“It is taking stock of the critical actions that need to happen for policy execution and investments.

“ACReSAL is the top five or ten largest programs on adaptation we have globally in our portfolio. From the World Bank management here in Nigeria, I just want to say you have our full support.

“It’s not all about adaptation, it’s about sustaining agriculture smart ways into the future, it’s about energy, skills and resources. It’s about management skills, managing the risk of flooding. Example, what happened in Pakistan few years ago which the country is still recovering from”, Mr. Samad added.

Dr. Joy I Ajene, one of the Task Team Leads of the ACReSAL Project said it is blessed because is in the hands of trusted stakeholders.

“The leaders and drivers of this project, the passion we see is encouraging and we know that by the time we finish the implementation of ACReSAL, it will forever live in Nigeria and lay the foundation for the national program for water shed management.

“While speaking, through illustrations from the screen, she said the state of Borno leads in degradation, followed by Niger State.

“These are areas identified to see how degraded lands can be restored. They are areas that have musty lands in the country and the aim is to work with and support the states to see how we can work with them and see how degraded lands can be restored.

“To ensure that this multi-sectoral project is coordinated as one. There is no discrimination or difference”, Dr. Ajene said.

Didi Jackson, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, representing the Minister, Engr. Terlumun Utsev, said the gathering underscores the importance of partnership towards collective responsibility in project implementation.

He said ACReSAL project is a demonstration of the importance of environmental sustainability, full restoration of degraded lands towards enhancing livelihoods and to promote food security and protection.

“I join my fellow ministers to support the implementation of this important project and how to move it forward to ensure proper implementation in the respective states.

“It is also an opportunity for us to reflect on how far we have gone on the project and how we are to meet our targets within the next four years.”, Engr. Utsev stated.

He appreciated the Minister of Environment, Mr. Balarabe for providing the necessary resources in the tripartite agreement.

Abubakar Kyari, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, while revealing the importance of food security as a priority for President Bola Tinubu, said to bring it to fruition, 500,000 hectares of land is needed. With majority of the lands in the north, he said climate change needed to be factored into consideration, “we don’t want to bring down most of our forests in the south”, he said.

Represented by Mr. Olanipekun, Director of the Ministry’s Land and Degradation Department, he said the ACReSAL Project is the best bet for the Ministry, as it does not work in isolation.

“As farmers, we require water and need information about the environment. It is the more reason this integrated approach projected by ACReSAL is ideal for us. Looking at that, the project is built on two strengths – building resilence of our confirming communities, as well as restoring farmlands.

“For us to build resilence, climate, span and culture are important and built on technology. That’s why the ACReSAL Project is timely to us. It is all about technology in deploying water to our farmlands. So, we applaud you for bringing this ACReSAL Project.

Aside that, we need to ensure that we are applying crop specific fertiliser, as opposed to planted fertiliser application we do in the country. These are ways we can ensure that our storage can be used year in, year out.

“We must carry out proper farming practices and these can be done through perspective climate, span and culture practices. We need to encourage innovation and technology in deploying these to our farmers”, the Minister said.

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