BusinessDay

Edo to hold talks with Delta over creation of Bendel Commission

...As Obaseki targets 10million trees in 10years

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki has disclosed that it would soon begin consultations with his Delta State counterpart, Ifeanyi Okowa, for the establishment of the Bendel Commission.

The governor said the proposed commission would foster mutual cooperation and collaboration in economic, security, cultural and environmental matters between the two states that were formerly known as Bendel State.

He made the disclosure while planting a mahogany tree at the tree planting ceremony in Orhionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State as part of activities to mark the state’s 30th anniversary.

Obaseki, who said his mission is to make Edo great again, opined that “this mission will be a pipe dream if we do not rethink the methods that brought us to this point and recalibrate existing systems to address peculiar challenges.”

According to her, “To make Edo great again, on a comprehensive basis, we must involve our kit and kin in Delta State. We are, therefore, commencing discussions to establish the Bendel Commission.”

He, however, lamented the degradation of forest reserves, saying that it has led to adverse weather and environmental conditions that threaten the existence of the people.

Read also: Lagos plants 7.6m trees in 10 years for balanced ecosystem

To remedy the situation, he said his administration would be collaborating with private sectors and communities across the state to embark on a reforestation program that would enable the state to plant 10 million trees in 10 years.

“Environmental sustainability is the key to our social, cultural and economic preservation. The rich forest reserves that our ancestors passed to us had been seriously degraded and depleted. We must balance environmental sustainability with livelihoods and strategically reclaim our expansive forest lands for present and future generations.

“As we celebrate Edo State @ 30 today, our emphasis and focus must be on environmental sustainability. In a post-fossil era, we must try to develop our natural resources, particularly our forestry resources and its value chain. That is why I will be planting trees as a significant step leading to our forestry regeneration of growing 10million trees in the next 10 years,” he added.

Besides forest regeneration drive, he solicited support and collaboration of national security agencies in the state to re-establish a forest tree protection force so as to ensure that bandits do not use the forests as basis to foster criminality.