To avoid widespread desertification in the country, particularly in the North, the Federal Government has instructed officials of the Nigeria Prisons Service, schools and other organisations involved in the excessive cutting down of trees to refrain from the act.
It stated that the charge became necessary following the reduced rainfall in most northern states, which had worsened the rate desert encroachment in parts of the country.
The government, through its National Agency for Great Green Wall, noted that states like Borno, Adamawa, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara were witnessing desertification in diverse proportions, adding that the situation could spread beyond the areas if not addressed.
The Director-General, NAGGW, Mr. Ahmed Goni, who announced the government’s resolve to stop the prisons, schools and other organisations from cutting down trees during an event at the headquarters of the NPS in Abuja, said 80 per cent of the country’s population were involved in tree felling.
Goni said, “The government, through the Federal Ministry of Environment and our agency, has identified that one of the key factors causing desertification is the excessive use of firewood in Nigeria. We have also established that about 80 per cent of our population use firewood for their cooking activities.
“Also, we’ve found out that the use of firewood is much in places where we have a high number of people such as prisons, schools and large bakeries. So, we have to reduce the excessive usage of firewood in our prisons in order to ensure that our tree planting target as an agency of government is not defeated.”