The Nigerian Minister of Environment has revealed that addressing climate change is of keen interest to President Bola Tinubu who is concerned about the rapid encroachment of desertification in the northern parts of the country.
Balarabe Abbas Lawal also emphasized the urgency to work hard in order to recover and reclaim lands lost to desertification.
He made the emphasis while addressing a team of environment experts from the World Bank, including Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) officials and other stakeholders at the ACReSAL Federal Project Management Unit (FPMU) recently in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.
The minister also stated that “an increased collaboration among the Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Food Security, Water Resources and Sanitation, as well as the World Bank, will result in the success of the ACReSAL Project.
“We are not doing this because we have a job, we want to save our environment,” the minister added
While revealing the partnership between the Nigerian government and the World Bank which has led to a multi-institutional machinery to stem the fast-paced degradation of landscapes of the country’s northern region, the minister added that ACReSAL will be pivotal in facilitating the much-needed inter-agency cooperation among the ministries, as well as within the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
This will address pervasive issues like high degradation of natural resources, poor agricultural productivity, climate risks, desertification, increased poverty rates, conflicts, violence, and weak institutional capacity.
ACReSAL, which the minister said involves several federal and state Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), local governments, communities and civil societies, will also provide solutions to desertification, flooding, climatic variability, deforestation, extensive cultivation, overgrazing, bush burning, fuel wood extraction, charcoal production, faulty irrigation systems, improper road drainage design and construction.
Responding, Umar said the team was elated by the minister’s presence which he added, clearly demonstrates his love for the environmental sector and ACReSAL, one of the key deliverables of his ministry.
He also told the team that in previous events, the minister had affirmed President Tinubu’s awareness of ACReSAL and its mandate.