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Reps approve presidential declaration of 10 new national parks

Reps approve presidential declaration of 10 new national parks

The House of Representatives on Thursday approved the Presidential Declaration Order, 2022 to elevate 10 named Parks to National Park status.

They include: Allawa Game Reserve, Niger State; Apoi Forest Reserve, Bayelsa State; Edumenum Reserve, Bayelsa State; Falgore Game Reserve Kano State; Baturiya Wetland game Reserve, Jigawa State and Kampe Forest Reserve, Kwara State.

Others are: Kogo Forest Reserve, Katsina State; Marhai Forest Reserve, Nasarawa State; Oba Hill Forest Reserve, Osun State and Pandam Forest Reserve, Plateau State.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion moved by the House Leader, Alhassan Ado Doguwa at plenary Thursday.

Moving the motion on behalf of Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, the House leader, the deputy leader, Peter Akpatason said President Muhammadu Buhari had on November 16, 2022 signed a Declaration Order, designating 10 parks across Nigeria as national parks.

He said in consonance with the provisions of Section 18 of the National Park Service Act, the President, communicated in writing requesting the concurrence of the House on the ten New National Parks.

“Subject to this Act, the President with the concurrence of the National Assembly, may by order published in the gazette – (a) declare such areas in the Federation as he may deem fit as National Parks which shall be subject to the provisions of the Act.

“Or, an order made under Subsection (i) of this section shall – (a) set out the situation limits of each National Park;
(b) specify the intern management policy for the National Park, and
(c) specify the classification of the “National Park,” the lawmaker stated.

Akpatason said the Declaration Order, 2022 set out: (a) the Declaration of new National Parks;
(b) name, situation and limits of the new National Park; and
(c) constitution of the National Parks Management Committee.”

Arguing against the motion, Toby Okechukwu, the deputy minority leader, said it raises issues regarding the practicality of establishing additional national parks.

He acknowledged the right of the President to create such parks subject to the approval of Parliament but expressed concern at the dilapidated states of the existing National Parks.

Okechukwu also wondered if the provisions made to ensure the additional ones will be “effectively managed” and called on the House to decide from a position of knowledge and ensure a “framework for effective management and safety of the parks is practiced.”

The lawmaker said the parks which are ungoverned spaces can be taken over by “bandits and terrorists”, if not carefully taken care of.

Ahmed Idris Wase, deputy speaker of the House said the motion seeks to promote employment as well as the beauty and serenity of Nigeria.

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According to Wase, the framework will be put in place and that the President seeking to help the States in managing the parks will ensure they thrive.

Yusuf Gagdi (APC, Plateau) in his contribution stated that the motion is in line with the constitutional powers of the President.

Gagdi stated that the aim of the Federal Government to aid the states in managing the Parks will ensure their success.

Also, Munir Dan-Agundi (APC, Kano) cited Baturiye Game Reserve, in Jigawa where people always have a good and relaxing experience when they visit.

He stated that the military has some structures in the Falgore Game Reserve, Kano to ensure miscreants do not use its peculiar location for criminality.