16th May, 2012
Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the take-off of the Great Green Wall (GGW) Environmental Pragramme to check the ravaging desert encroachment in the northern part of the country. The Minister of Environment, Mrs Hadiza Mailafia, made this known while briefing State House Correspondents after the weekly meeting of the Council which was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja.
She said that the programme would be implemented in the 11 frontline States of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Jigawa, Yobe and Zamfara.
“The whole concept is that there should be a green area that will run across the 11 frontline states, and of course, we all know what the 11 frontline states are in Nigeria, that is the States that face the desert directly or have the direct impact, they are the shock absorbers of the desert, they first feel it before we do.”
Mailafia, however, said that the eight most adversely affected States of Borno, Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara would have a contiguous Green Belt, while the remaining three States of Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe would have support Green Belts.
The Minister said the contiguous belt would run from Kebbi to Borno, a distance of 1,500 kilometres and 15 kilometres wide.
She said that the programme was based on cross-sectoral interventions that would ensure ecosystem restoration and enhanced food security for achieving sustainable development and funding of the programme would be a shared responsibility of stakeholders which included the three tiers of government, development partners, private sector and civil society organisations on mutually agreed terms.
Mailafia said that the National Council on Shelterbelt and Afforestation would supervise the GGW programme.
According to her, membership of the Council will include the Vice President who will be the chairman, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and seven Ministers of line Ministries.
She said a programme implementation unit would be put in place in the Federal Ministry of Environment to coordinate the smooth execution of the project