Lagos, Ekiti to begin tree planting

Representative of the Lagos State governor and Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Tunji Bello, planting a tree at the Year 2016 Tree Planting exercise, at the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camp, Iyana Ipaja, on Thursday. With him are the Commissioner for Environment, Dr Samuel Adejare; General Manager, Lagos State Parks and Garden, Mr Abimbola Jijoho-Ogun and others.

The Lagos State governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, has said his administration will ensure that the state meets its target of 10 million trees by 2020.

Governor Ambode made the promise on Thursday, at a ceremony to mark the 2016 Tree Planting Day, themed: “Lend a Hand to Save Trees,” held in Ikorodu, adding that the state government would enforce planting of trees along all new roads being constructed and to create more parks in the metropolis.

The governor was represented by his deputy, Dr Idiat Oluranti Adebule.

Ambode, while enjoining residents of Lagos to plant more trees, contended that it was the most reliable and cheapest means to combat the effect of global warming and climate change, adding such approach could help to reduce the rate of ocean surge and erosion with its attendant problem of displacement of homes and communities.

Ambode, while reminding the citizens that the state was a coastal city-state that was prone to several environmental challenges, urged developers to adhere to all town planning and greening regulations in order not to jeopardize the environment when providing infrastructural development.

Earlier, the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Babatunde Adejare, said planting of trees besides beautifying the environment, had helped to convert criminal hideouts and open spaces into orchids and woodlands.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State government would henceforth plant trees along newly constructed roads in the state to meet the target of 10 million trees by 2020 and combat environmental changes.

Speaker of Lagos Assembly, Honourable Mudashiru Obasa, dropped the hint at the 9th annual Tree Planting Day,  at the Green Area on WEMPCO Road in Ogba, Lagos with the theme; “Lend A Hand To Save Leaves.”

The Speaker also urged residents of sub-urban areas of the state to desist from indiscriminate felling of trees for the protection of all.

In a related development, Ekiti State governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose will, on Monday, kick start the planting of 250,000 trees as part of the programme of his administration to fortify the already depleted forests in the state.

Speaking on a Television programme in Ado Ekiti, on Thursday, the state Head of Service and chairman of the state Forest Regeneration Committee, Dr Olugbenga Faseluka, and the state Commissioner for Environment, Chief Bisi Kolawole, said the forest regeneration and tree planting programme which would be flagged off at Ayo Babalola Memorial Grammar school, Efon Alaaye, would begin with tree planting in all secondary schools in the state.

Dr Faseluka explained that schools were co-opted not only to help protect  them from windstorm but also inculcate the tree  planting culture in the younger generation students so as to ensure environmental sustainability.

In his remarks, Chief Kolawole stated that the state government had taken steps to stop illegal felling of trees in the state, stressing that the newly signed Ekiti State Forest Protection law provides a six-month jail term without fine option for anyone caught in the illegal activity.

He commended Governor Fayose for initiating the regeneration of the forests, saying that Fayose remains the only governor in the history of the state to fortify the state forestry, having carried out a similar exercise in his first tenure as governor.