Environment Minister Set For UN, Says Legacies Will Live On

Amina Mohammed, Renewable Energy, JatrophaThe outgoing Minister of Environment in Nigeria, Mrs Amina Mohammed, says the Ogoni clean-up and the establishment of the Great Green Wall are legacies which will outlive her time in office.

She made the statement as she prepares to assume office as the next Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Her appointment was announced on Thursday by the United Nations Secretary-General-designate, António Guterres.

He said he “will be appointing Amina Mohammed of Nigeria as the UN deputy chief”, on his assumption of office as the ninth chief of the global organisation in January 2017.

Giving an account of her one year in office at the Federal Ministry of Environment Headquarters in Abuja on Friday, the minister stated that the war on environmental pollution was entering a critical implementation phase in the first quarter of 2017.

From supervising Nigeria’s contributory implementation of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change to cut back carbon emissions by 27% over the next 15 years, the outgoing Minister of Environment now moves to superintend over the coordination and administration of United Nations’ policy around the world.

Urging patience from the locals in the Niger Delta, the outgoing minister emphasised that the clean-up of Ogoniland is in effect and on course.

The minister stated that laws establishing agencies under the ministry had been revised for legislative amendment to ensure greater efficacy while critical infrastructure and equipment have been updated with further construction in progress.

The outgoing minister affirmed that progress had been recorded in reducing the sulphur content in Nigeria’s fuel supply to reduce emissions even as the ministry has partnered with the Federal Road Safety Corps to remove excessively polluting vehicles from the road.

While the new UN Deputy leaves the domestic environment to make influential inputs affecting the environment of the global village, she maintains that her keen interest in Nigeria’s environmental health will not abate as she departs office.

She has served as Special Advisor to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning, where she was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

FG To Ban Felling Of Trees To Avert Desertification

Felling of Trees, Desertification, The Federal Government is working towards putting a ban on felling of trees as a means of addressing the challenge of desertification in Nigeria.

The Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, announced the plan on Wednesday at a public forum on desertification and deforestation organised by the European Union.

Mrs Mohammed laments that about 1.5 million trees are cut daily in Nigeria, thereby creating room for desert encroachment.

On his part, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, hinted that the Senate was considering a bill to improve forestry in Nigeria.

At an earlier event to flag-off the ‘Keep Kaduna Green Project’, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed worry that Nigeria has the highest rate of deforestation in the world in spite of campaigns against such acts.

Restore The Environment

The President was represented by the Environment Minister at the event designed to plant one million trees annually in Kaduna State.

He pointed out that over 576 million trees were lost annually due to deforestation, adding that the situation had led to the increased rate of desertification, flooding and drought in some parts of Nigeria.

Environmental Auditors, AFROSAI, Implementation

President Buhari feared that with the upsurge in the rate of deforestation, the Federal Government’s effort to achieve the forest cover and restore the environment by 25% might be a tall dream.

Paid For Growing Trees 

In another development, the Federal Ministry of Environment reiterated its commitment to forestry development with a view to checkmate the effects of climate change in Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibrin, stressed the importance of agriculture and forestry to national economy and security.

He also expressed concern over the negative destruction of the nation’s forests which he said had led to numerous environmental challenges.

Mr Jibrin called on farmers and other stakeholders to come up with solutions on how to combat climate change and deforestation in Nigeria.

If Nigeria could enact a law that would proscribe felling of trees, the nation could be added to the list of countries getting paid for keeping their forests.

Over eight countries get the REDD+ (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) funds.

REDD+ is the UN led mechanism which helps countries earn dollars by not cutting trees and saving carbon dioxide in forests.

Environmental experts estimate that if a nation upholds deforestation and also plant new trees, it can earn $4 – 12 billion

Buhari Nominates Environment Minister Amina Mohammed To AU Committee

Amina Mohammed, Renewable Energy, JatrophaPresident Muhammadu Buhari has approved the nomination of the Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, to serve in the African Union (AU) Reform Steering Committee.

The committee, headed by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda is tasked with ongoing institutional reforms of the AU Commission and its organs.

The committee, which comprises eminent persons from the continent, will work on part-time basis to produce a report for presentation to the 28th African Union Summit in January 2017.

In a statement by a spokesman for the President, Garba Shehu, the Presidency described the Minister as a versatile and accomplished development practitioner in the public, private and civil society sectors.

She has over three decades’ experience and had served as the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on MDGs, serving three Presidents over a period of six years.

Until her appointment as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in November 2015, she was the Assistant Secretary/Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General on Post-2015 Development Planning.

Buhari Decries Rate Of Deforestation In Nigeria

deforestation, Tree Planting, KadunaPresident Muhammadu Buhari has expressed worry that Nigeria has the highest rate of deforestation in the world in spite of campaigns against such acts.

The President made the remark at the flag-off ceremony of the Keep Kaduna Green Project, designed to plant one million trees annually in the state.

Represented by the Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, President Buhari pointed out that over 576 million trees are lost in the country annually due to deforestation.

He said that this situation has led the increased rate of desertification, flooding and drought in some parts of the country.

President Buhari feared that with the growing deforestation in the country, the effort of the federal government to achieve the forest cover and restore the environment by 25% might be a tall dream.

He commended the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai for the initiative which he said would go a long way in combating illegal felling of trees and restoring the green environment in the state.

On his part, Governor Nasir El-Rufai said that the project, apart from restoring the environment, will also create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in the state.

Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba and his Kebbi State counterpart, Atiku Bagudu were among the dignitaries who planted trees to flag off the Keep Kaduna Clean Project, with a determination to replicate same in their states.

According to environmental experts, Nigeria has one of the world’s highest rate of deforestation of primary forests, where more than 50% of such forests have been lost in the past decades through unsustainable logging.

These practices contribute to the environmental challenges such as erosion, flooding, desertification among others.

An estimated 1.3 billion people, or nearly 20% of the world’s population, rely on forests and forest products for their daily activities.

Stakeholders say the plan by the Kaduna State government to plant one million trees should be a project that should be keyed into by states and local government if the country must tackle erosion, flooding and other environmental challenges.

Meanwhile, the Director General of National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Dr Lawrence Anukam says the agency will deal with companies, organizations or individuals that degrade the environment through their operations.

This measures according to him is to mitigate all forms of environmental challenges in the country.