16th July, 2010
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has declared that the Tree Planting and Beautification Programme of the administration has helped to unleash an almost unquantifiable economic benefit at the micro level in the State.
Governor Fashola, who spoke during the second anniversary of the tree planting and beautification campaign at the LASU Road Junction Isheri in the Alimosho Local Government venue of the exercise, disclosed that the programme has already created employment for over 4,800 people directly or indirectly in a continuous cycle of supplies, labour, transportation, nursery and seedling development; sand mining and supplies, welding and fabrication among others.
The governor who spoke through the Head of Service, Prince Adesegun Ogunlewe, added that it has also provided a steady source of jobs to 43 companies and their employees who did not have any business before.
â€œHow could something so simple and yet environmentally beneficial have such a profound and far reaching effect. How did we as a people not pursue this earlier?
â€œThe truth is that we must pay attention to little things if we are desirous of achieving big things,â€ the governor said.
Underscoring another major advantage of the programme, Governor Fashola recalled that during the campaign leading to the elections, a number of communities such as Magodo and Alimosho complained of erosion .
He explained that erosion is a natural occurrence and that nature has provided its own solution as it usually does to every challenge that it creates, stressing that â€œIf we plant trees in erosion prone areas, it firms up the soil and provides protection and erosion control mechanism in the cheapest and probably most efficient wayâ€.
In his words: â€œSince our people have adopted tree planting and conservation as a way of life, I am certain that it is now only a matter of time before the full difference and impact of our efforts begin to manifest in a better life and less erosion prone environment.â€
The governor emphasized that as the world focuses on the preservation of nature as mitigation and adaptation strategies against effects of climate change such as flooding and green house gases, the demand for more trees and green can only increase.
He said the government is already acting proactively to be at the fore front of policy formulation and decision making to ensure that the people are not left behind.
â€œA botanical garden is being developed, and an institutionalization of tree planting and greening through the use of law has received the blessing of the State House of Assembly with the imminent passage of the law establishing the Parks and Garden Commission,â€ the governor said.
He urged everyone to make tree planting a daily habit wherever they live, adding: â€œplant a tree today for cleaner air, plant a tree a day for environmental protection against erosion and flooding, plant a tree a day to create jobs for the unemployed, plant a tree for the social, environmental and economic well being of Lagosâ€.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Muiz Banire, said the tree planting initiative is part of the resolve of the present administration to ensure the continued survival of human race which depends on the oxygen provided by trees.
He added that it is also intended to take the beautification and greening of the state to an enviable level by ensuring that the environment wears a grand look of beauty masterpiece which is capable of competing with modern cities of the world.