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What we are doing to keep Abuja green — AMMC boss

The Coordinator of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Umar Shuaibu, has said that the council has deployed measures to maintain the status of Abuja…

The Coordinator of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Umar Shuaibu, has said that the council has deployed measures to maintain the status of Abuja as a green city.

Shuaibu, a town planner, who spoke to Daily Trust exclusively, said the issue of climate change was real and that was why efforts were being made to mitigate its impact on the city.

He said, “Anywhere anybody is developing land in Abuja; we ensure that the green component of that land is preserved. All trees within a plot; we have to make sure people that bring their plans here maintain the trees that are on that land. If they cannot be maintained because of the type of development that they want to build there, if they cut one tree, they must plant two; that is the rule.

“We have to make sure that the green areas, the green components of this city, are not violated. Abuja is a green city in order to fight against climate change and that is why we have an area which is called the National Arboretum. It is an expansive land where we maintain the original flora and fauna that are within it right from the time the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was created. We make sure that nothing is tampered with there.”

He added that AMMC also ensured that the plants and vegetation cover along the streets were well maintained.

He explained that as a deliberate policy to maintain the eco-friendly ambience of the city, 33 per cent of the land budget of Abuja was devoted to providing and maintaining the vegetation cover in green areas.

He said, “Though there are attempts to desecrate these green areas, we make sure that none of these areas are desecrated. That’s why we have created the parks and recreation department in order to maintain all of our green lands. And this park and recreation department is partnering with the private sector to maintain these green areas.

“Any park plot that we give you, we have the requirement, 82 per cent of that land must be devoted to greening. That is what is embedded in our 2019 Parks Policy. All the people that have park allocation in the city; that is what we are telling them this is what they must do and it is all because of the challenge of climate change and to beautify the city.”