• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Jonathan launches implementation of N100bn Nigerian component of GGW project


President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday formally launched the implementation of the Nigerian component of the Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative at Bachaka in Arewa Local Government Area of Kebbi State worth over N100 billion.

The GGW is a regional afforestation programme which is designed to create a greenbelt of trees across Africa at the southern edge of the Sahara desert to prevent desertification.

The GGW was developed by the African Union to address the detrimental social, economic and environmental impacts of land degradation and desertification on communities bordering the Sahel and Sahara deserts.

In Nigeria, the GGW project comprises of a greenbelt of 15km wide 1,500km long stretching across 11 states from Kebbi in the North projectWest to Borno in the North East.

The 11 states covered by the Nigerian component also known as the frontline states, include Kebbi, Zamfara, Gombe, Yobe, Jigawa, Adamawa, Bauchi, Katsina, Borno, Sokoto and Kano.

Speaking at the event, the president described the GGW project as a major investment and one of the greatest projects of the Federal Government in terms of environmental protection and wealth creation.

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He also stated that the project would cost government between N85 billion and N100 billion including the planting of trees and establishment of industries that would process their fruits.

“This occasion marks a turning point in our collective quest to conserve and manage our environment and improve the living condition of our people.

“The journey to the present started several years ago at a regional summit when our former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, and other leaders proposed the Sahel Sahara initiative in 2005. “It was subsequently launched in 2006 in Abuja, that is the Nigerian component, and in 2007, the AU endorsed the GGW for the Sahara and Sahel initiative.

“The primary objective of the programme is to tackle the detrimental social, economic and environmental impacts of land degradation and desertification in this part of the world, that is, across Africa.

“As developed by the African Union, the programme is conceived as a 15 km wide and 7,775km long strip of greenery, that is, trees and bushes.

“These include orchards stretching from Senegal at the Atlantic Coast in the West to Djibouti in the hub of Africa at the Indian Ocean in the East.”