✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters
Click Here To Listen To Trust Radio Live

Niger recruits guards for forest conservation

The GGs comprised unemployed youths, recruited and empowered for the primary purpose of conserving the forest in the state against further human destruction. Four hundred…

The GGs comprised unemployed youths, recruited and empowered for the primary purpose of conserving the forest in the state against further human destruction. Four hundred and eighty six persons have been recruited so far.
In the major cities of the state, spots for selling charcoal and firewood, which are the major reason for tree felling, are a common sight. The number of trucks and pick-up vans mainly used in transporting the firewood to Minna, the state capital and other major cities of the state, has also been on the increase.
The guards, recruited by the state government under the auspices of the federal government’s Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), were sent to the College of Forestry, Jos, Plateau State for one month intensive training, on how to guard and conserve the state’s eco-system, with particular attention to the forest.
In his address to the guards before they departed for Jos, the state’s Commissioner for Environment, Parks, Garden and Forestry, Umar Mohammed Nasko, whose office is handling the GGs project, explained that the concept was specifically designed to protect the environment, as well as provide employment for the unemployed youths that abound in the state.
Nasko said the recent employment of 500 youths as sanitary officers in the state was part of the present administration’s effort at reducing the ever-increasing indices of unemployed youths in all the 25 local government areas of the state.
According to him, the concept of Green Guards introduced by the state was the first of its kind in the country, adding that no other state had benefitted from such opportunity like Niger State.
He advised the guards that while in Jos, their training was expected to last for a period of one month, adding that the state governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, had mandated them to ensure proper conduct during the exercise.
He said, “There is also an officer that will be with them throughout the training. The presence of an officer is to further ensure that each of them undergoes the training as stipulated.”
The commissioner warned that government would not hesitate to disengage and punish anybody found wanting among them.
“Whoever misbehaves during the training will be dealt with. We will not take any form of indiscipline slightly,” he said.
Speaking on the conservation of forests, managing director of SURE-P in the state, Hassan Nuhu, said the programme would  be in two folds, the first being the aspect of mobilisation where 486 participants were selected to participate in the scheme.
He said that under the mobilisation component, there is procedure for selection, kitting of the guards and provision of other necessary tools required for the programme. He revealed that SURE-P had invested at least N150 million in the training of participants, adding that after the training, the guards would be entitled to a remuneration of N15, 000 per month.
Nuhu further explained that in addition to physical fitness as a criterion for selecting the participants, holders of the National Certificate in Education (NCE) and National Diploma were given preference. He said the guards were recruited from the 10 local government areas of the state in the pilot scheme. The pilot local government areas included Paikoro, Meshegu, Rijau, Magama, Lavun, Mokwa, Mariga, Bargu and Wushishi.
In addition to forest conservation, the guards were trained on intelligence gathering; hence they were trained by instructors from the State Security Service (SSS).
Addressing the participants after the training, the managing director of SURE-P charged the guards to always collaborate with the SSS, police and villages heads while on intelligence gathering. He added that the programme would be expanded, with the aim to recruit more youths as traffic wardens.
He said, “Any suspicious movement in the bush should be quickly reported. You must not necessarily share such information even with your colleagues before reporting same to the appropriate authority for necessary action.
“It is very important to take this workshop with all the seriousness it deserves. You must ensure that what was learnt is put into use. You should discharge your responsibilities in such a manner that you know when to run and when to enforce.”
In her address, the director of security, Mrs. Moji Rie, said the gesture was a clarion call to duty and service to fatherland.
The guards, who have since passed out from training, have assumed duties at their places of primary assignment.

VERIFIED: It is now possible to live in Nigeria and earn salary in US Dollars with premium domains, you can earn as much as $12,000 (₦18 Million).
Click here to start.