Kaduna State Government has said it planted 7.5 million trees in the last five years as part of efforts to reforest the state but said only half of the number have survived.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai while speaking with the Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar after he presented the state with one million seedlings to mark the World Environment Day, lamented that Kaduna State has lost a lot of its forests in the last few years before the coming of his administration, adding that the state is being reforested again.
“In the last five years, we have been planting 1.5 million trees every year. Only about 50% of the trees survived, but we have not given up. It is an investment that we are willing to make for our children and grand children,’’ the Governor said.
El-Rufai promised the minister that Kaduna state will plant the donated seedlings and expressed hope that 90 per cent of them will survive while the state will match the number of what the federal government has donated.
The Governor suggested that the Ecological Fund be transferred to the Ministry of Environment which he said possesses the expertise and national reach to manage it for the benefit of the country.
He said, “it is only proper for the Ecological Fund to be domiciled with the Ministry of Environment because it includes fighting erosion, deforestation and desert encroachment. Apart from that, the ministry has the knowledge, technicality and expertise as well as the national reach to better manage the fund and utilise it for the benefit of the entire country.”
The governor explained that he had headed a committee during the first term of the present administration, which recommended the transfer of the Fund to the Ministry of Environment adding that “the matter was further tabled before the National Executive Council (NEC) and a decision was taken on it but the resolution has not yet been implemented.”
Earlier, the Minister said that his ministry had promised five million seedlings to Kaduna state in fulfilment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s pledge to plant 25 million trees across the country.
He promised that the balance of four million seedlings will be delivered to Kaduna state.