• Saturday, April 20, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

FG reclaims 23,000 hectares of degraded land in 23 states

Record flood intensifies Nigeria’s push for climate compensation

The Federal Government says it has reclaimed 23,000 hectares of degraded land and completed 56 gully erosion sites in about 23 states.

It also said over 25,000 households benefited from the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP).

The minister of environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, disclosed this at a valedictory ceremony for NEWMAP, on Sunday in Abuja.

He said that the NEWMAP was established in collaboration with World Bank and its partner agencies in 2012 to address gully erosion and other forms of land degradation in 23 states across the country.

“Over 185,000 persons have received project advisory training.

“The project is to reduce vulnerability to gully erosion and other forms of land degradation focusing on preventing and restoring further land degradation.

“The aim is also to enhance the livelihoods of beneficiary communities.

“I must reiterate that the achievements of NEWMAP are in line with the goals of the present administration,” he said.

Abdullahi said that the project was also focused on urban stormwater management, climate change adaptation and resilience, water harvesting, climate-smart agriculture, among others

He said that the impact of NEWMAP had been felt all over the country, including in some states that were not participating in the project.

He said that the NEWMAP won 5 awards in 2019, as the overall best project in the entire World Bank Nigeria portfolio, best project in results and innovation and best project in disbursement.

“It also won the first position in audience award category under sustainable awards for World Bank projects in Africa Region and second position in the Africa sustainable development team,” he said.

The minister appreciated the World Bank, partner agencies, the states, NEWMAP team and other stakeholders who contributed to making the project a huge success.

The minister was represented by Abdulhadi Abdullahi, his special assistant.

The national project coordinator, NEWMAP, Salisu Dahiru, said the aim of the event was to put the record and achievement of the NEWMAP before the public, ministries and the World Bank that sponsored the project.

Dahiru said that the first phase of the NEWMAP spent 500 million dollars on the execution of the project.

He said another two grants were given by Global Environmental Facilities and Special Climate Change Fund, adding that one was about three million dollars while the other was about four million dollars grant.

“But the 500 million dollars was approved for only seven states then.

“It was agreed between the Federal Government and the World Bank that if the number of the states participating in the project later increased, then there should be additional fund.

Read also: We’ve template to fund reconstruction of Ota-Abeokuta road- Abiodun

“So, when the number of participating states increased from seven to 19, the need to have this additional financing came up,” he said.

The national coordinator said that each state among those first seven was given an opportunity to implement only five gully erosion sites.

He said that in a state like Anambra, the gully erosion sites alone could have taken almost half of the amount.

He said that increase in the number of states led to additional sites, adding that some of the erosion in the sites were huge.

“These made it necessary for additional financing, then World Bank decided to provide 400 million dollars.

“But that 400 million dollars as at that time was the estimate of the gullies that needed to be rehabilitated,” he said.

Dahiru said that the NEWMAP was still left with some short fund, adding that some states and federal level brought counterpart fund. He said that the efforts had helped in ensuring that the project was implemented.