By; FUNMI ADERINTO, Kaduna
The Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, is determined to ensure that the environment is protected against the effects of climate change as manifested by desert encroachment and deforestation in order to guarantee that people live in good health.
The Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Architect Barnabas Bala Bantex who represented the Governor at the occasion of the flag-off of Shelterbelt in Yakawada, Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State, said his administration is in the process of transforming the Agriculture Sector through deliberate programs that are aimed at job creation, economic empowerment and societal stabilization.
He said, “we are determined to protect the forest reserves against depletion through illegal exploitation, in this regard the state government has declared a state of emergency on our forests and will send a revised forest bill to the Kaduna State House of Assembly as soon as council approves a new forestry policy.
” The new bill seeks to make illegal exploitation of forest resources unattractive by prescribing stiffer penalties for those who may desire to go that way,” he said.
In addition, the government has employed additional 252 Forest Rangers and Guards and normalised the appointment of 85 Forestry Casual staff.
He said, “planting activities have taken place in the 255 wards and 541 secondary schools as well as the beautification of Government Institutions and four major roads within Kaduna municipality”.
Furthermore, “the government is clearing 10,000Ha in Ruwan Sanyi, Kubau local government area and 30,000Ha in Ladduga, Kachia local government where over 2,500Ha have so far been prepared and planted, creating jobs for about 2,500 young boys and girls throughout the state,” he disclosed.
He concluded by calling on the five front line local government areas to encourage their citizens to be proactive in the nurturing of these plants as guarantee against desertification and a legacy to bequeath to the next generation.