*Says Programme Also Aimed At Ending Farmers, Cattle Grazers Clashes
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Mrs Nana Fatima Mede on Tuesday stressed the importance of the Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative of the Federal Government, which she said, was designed to assuage the crises faced by over 43 million Nigerian on desertification.
She said the initiative by the government was aimed at managing drought, desertification while ensuring the afforestation of a wide expanse of land currently being ravaged by deserts in the northern part of the country.
The Permanent Secretary said as designed, the GGW will empower the people around the desert areas economically with skills acquisition programmes on agriculture and allied matters.
She said through the process of afforestation currently being embarked upon by the GGW, the constant clash between farmers and cattle herders in some parts of the north would soon be a thing of the past.
She said lack of adequate grazing areas for cattle in the north was mainly responsible for the sustained clash between the farmers and the cattle herders.
Mrs Mene said this at the Headquarters of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) when receiving the sum of N925 million looted from the Ministry of Environment and recovered by the anti-graft Commission.
She said the amount could go a long way in assisting to fulfill the objectives of the GGW, which according to her, has started charting a new course for the economic development of the desert prone areas of the north.
The agenda of GGW, if comes into manifest reality will re-grass the desert areas of the north with economic trees and abundant fruits; as well as offer of jobs for not less than 5,000 people.
Those to be offered jobs through the GGW scheme include, those engaged in tree planting, forest guards, sellers of fruits and vegetables, and watering while it will also encourage private sector players to set up juice processing factories to absorb the raw materials from orchards.
Through the scheme, modern grazing areas in the affected states would be created to make available wood and other forestry resources; provide parks for tourist attractions; act as windbreakers against sand storms and other climate change induced weather upheavals.
It will also act as carbon sink for the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, thereby checking ozone depletion and global warming.
The Permanent Secretary said the GGW programme has been programmed for implementation in 11 northern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Yobe and Borno; while passing through 43 local government areas which will be covered to rehabilitate 225,000 hectares of land.
She thanked the ICPC for assisting to recover the looted funds, which according to her got missing barely two weeks after she resume for duties in the Ministry of Environment.
Culled from www.newspotng.com