Kogi State Government on Friday, called on the public to be actively involved in the planting of trees as part of strategies to promote the state urban afforestation plan.
Mr Sanusi Yahaya, Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, made the call on Friday in Lokoja during inspection of ongoing tree planting in the state.
According to him, the ministry has produced over 27, 000 seedlings for planting, adding that some of the seeds have been planted across the three senatorial districts of the state.
He said 10, 000 seedlings had been planted in Okura, 5,000 seedlings in Osara, 5,000 seedlings in Karara and 5,000 in Oyin.
“The ministry is producing, raising seedlings and planting. We have produced over 27, 000 seedlings this year which we planted in our various plantation forests.
”What we are promoting now is urban afforestation; as soon as the rains stop, we hope to raise more seedlings to inculcate in general public the habit of planting trees,” he said.
He said the exercise became imperative because planting of trees would help to prevent natural disaster and reduce human impact on global climate change.
“Active involvement in tree planting programmes leads to a stronger sense of community socialisation and the promotion of environmental stability and ethics.’’
On tree planting, the commissioner said that contract for the planting of trees had been awarded to SAM AGRO Global Services, adding that its experts had been around to plant varieties of trees, including grasses.
”As a ministry, we have a mandate to ensure sustainable environment because the issue of climate change is with us, and all efforts to address it must be done through different approaches.
”Planting of trees will help to address warming because environment it is becoming hotter and one of the ways of mitigating it is to plant more trees, we will not stop in achieving this aim.
”We have a programme coming up and hopefully, the number of seedlings that we will raise for public participation next year will be hundreds of thousands.
”Arrangement has been put in place to ensure that the survival rate of these plants are very high with consistent watering with manure,” he said.
Mr Organde Samuel, the Managing Director of SAM AGRO Global Services, said that the company had planted different varieties of tree in the confluence city.
These varieties he said are: Malaysian dwarf coconut, royal palms, ixora, Livingtonia palm, Cashorina, bougainvellia, kings palm, carpet grass, Portharcourt, and benjaminja plants.
He thanked the ministry for giving the company the opportunity to showcase its expertise in tree planting.
”We are only contracted to plant trees while the ministry would maintain them, “ he said.
Nigeria News Agency reports that ‘Royal palms’ were planted along Ganaja road to the Roundabout while Malaysian dwarf coconuts planted in the commissioners’ quarters,Ganaja road in Lokoja.
Experts believe that the trees planted are capable of producing fruits after three years.
Other areas where trees were planted include: NTA round about, SUBEB road, and the State Secretariat, among others.
Edited by Hawa Lawal/Dada Ahmed