Fashola Implores Nigerians To Embrace Tree Planting As A Way Of Life
Jul 14, 2009 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Tuesday implored Nigeria to take its rightful place as the leader in the West African sub region by ensuring that its people embrace tree planting as a way of life.
Governor Babatunde Fashola who spoke at the second anniversary of the 2009 Tree Planting campaign held at the Mobil road in Ajegunle added that if residents of smaller West African countries make it a point of duty to plant trees at all times, Nigerians should have no excuse.
He implored all Nigerians to join hands and protect the trees already planted while ensuring that new ones are planted with a view to ensuring that the people imbibe the culture of tree planting.
Governor Fashola explained that tree planting campaign has brought economic gains with it as about 6020 people have been employed since the exercise started in 2007
He said the children are also not left out as they are being involved through the launch of climate change clubs in various schools to educate the children that what they do or fail to do can indeed affect the environment.
The Governor recalled that he has fulfilled the two promises he made to the people, one of which was to deliver one million trees every year and observe July 14 every year as Tree Planting day.
He said already the State Government has exceeded the one million trees target set last year, adding that tree planting is not an end in itself but part of the environmental sustenance of the administration which includes the greening of the environmnent, emergency flood abatement and waste disposal.
He reiterated that Lagos has already dropped the toga of being classified as the dirtiest city to becoming one of the cleanest city in the world, adding that this was attested to recently by the Federal Ministry of Environment which recognized the state as the cleanest city in Nigeria.
Governor Fashola added that on last Sunday in far away London, the State was recognized by the Business in Africa magazine as the best in terms of good governance, adding that the award was significant because Lagos was the only State in the list of winners who were nations.
He charged residents of Ajegunle to brace up to the challenge of replicating the beautiful trees that many grew up to adore in some areas of Ibadan in Oyo State just like the ones planted by the colonialists in Ikoyi in the area by cleaning the area up.
The Lagos State Governor who contended that the Group of Eight industrialized nations G8 recently voted $20Billion to combat erosion, global warming and climate change, said Lagos has witnessed very heavy rainfall in the last two weeks.
He however said hours after such rainfalls, the water flows into the drainage channels and urged the people to be more vigilant and cautious during the 12 weeks in a year when rainfall is very heavy.
He also said rainfall represents a mixed blessing, as to the farmer it is a source of increased income in terms of farm yields and more catches for fishermen.
Governor Fashola added that the negative impact of rainfall can also be reduced by massive planting of trees.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Muiz Banire appealed that everyone should take it as a responsibility that every event is marked by a tree planting session, adding that these would ensure that tree planting is embraced by all.
Dr Banire added that the tree planting exercise is being held simultaneously in 82 centres statewide while 12 species of plants have been selected to be chosen from by all those planting trees at the occasion.
Also in his goodwill message, one of the Environmental Ambassadors, Olorogun John Odafe who is also known as Daddy Showkey sang a song to urge everyone to adopt tree planting as a way of life as tree sustains and saves life.
In their messages, Mr Henry Emaduezie and Mr Sola Adekoya who are both Environmental Ambassadors separately called for a continuation of the orientation change of the people such that will guarantee orderliness.
The Consultant to the State Government on the project, Professor Musiliu Onilude who enlightened people on the rudiments of tree planting said the Asoka or Police tree was chosen for planting at the occasion because it represents a plant that grows very well without interfering with the surroundings and is aesthetically very beautiful.
Governor Fashola with members of the State Executive Council and some of the dignitaries later planted trees to mark the day.
Among the dignitaries who witnessed the event were the Majority leader of the State House of Assembly, Hon Kolawole Taiwo, National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and General Overseer of the Foursquare Gospel Church, Rev Wilson Badejo.
Governor Fashola also undertook an inspection of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Abattoir at Achakpo in Ajegunle after the tree planting exercise.