Nigerian Govt renews commitment to restoring degraded lands

The Federal Government of Nigeria says it is committed to restoring more degraded lands for environmental sustainability in the country.
Malam Balarabe Lawal, Minister of Environment, gave this assurance at the Stakeholders’ Engagement forum of the Federal and States Steering/Technical Committees of the Agro-Climate Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) on Thursday, December 21, 2023, in Abuja.
The programme was organised by ACReSAL, Federal Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Food Security and Water Resources and Sanitation in conjunction with the World Bank.
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The minister, who is also the chairman of the Federal Steering Committee of the ACReSAL Project expressed satisfaction that the collaboration would restore degraded lands in the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Lawal said that there were over seven million lands that were degraded; hence the need for collaboration between relevant stakeholders to enable ACReSAL to make progress in the restoration of degraded lands.
“We need to emphasise on the collaboration between the federal and state government and I hope this collaboration will be extended to the local government,’’ he said.
He expressed worries over the dryness of Lake Chad and charged ACReSAL on its recovery as Lake Chad was just a micro level of what used to be there.
Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Professor Joseph Utsev, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dame Didi Walson-Jack, called for deeper collaboration among stakeholders.
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Dame Walson-Jack reinforced the importance of synergy among the participating Ministries and the World Bank team to ensure the ACReSAL project’s objectives are met.
In his remarks, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, reiterated the need to restore and preserve Nigeria’s over seven million of hectares of land in the face of a rapidly increasing population.
Senator Kyari advocated for the adoption of proper farming practices, based on the use of modern technology and innovative ideas, to boost agricultural outputs.
On his part, Mr Taimur Samad, World Bank Operations Manager, said that the ACReSAL project was an ambitious and transformational engagement to restore degraded lands.
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“Globally the World Bank has continued to deepen its commitment to climate change, resilience, adaptation and mitigation,’’ he said.
Samad urged the 19 states and the FCT to ensure renewed commitments to the implementation of the projects.
More so, Mr Abdulhamid Umar, National Project Coordinator for ACReSAL said that the project was driven by three ministries namely the ministries of Environment, Water Resources and Sanitation and Agriculture and Food Security.
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According to him, ACReSAL project is being implemented in 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Highlights of the event were awards presentation to some of the states for performance in the area of implementation progress, best disbursement, land reclamation and support to beneficiaries amongst others.
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The Stakeholders’ Engagement session concluded the two-weeks long Technical Support Mission for the ACReSAL project across the participating States, signifying a crucial step towards the project’s successful
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