Over N10.5 billion is being lost yearly to environmental challenges, which has endangered the livelihood of about 46.4 million people living in the eleven (11) northern frontline states.
This was disclosed by the Director-General, National Agency for the Great Green Wall (GGW), Goni Ahmed at the launch of the GGW school club/tree planting campaign at Government Girls Secondary School Dutse, Abuja.
According to the Ahmed, these challenges among which were deforestation, drought and desertification, had undermined Nigeria’s efforts in ensuring a stable and sustainable future for our resources and the country’s economy at large.
He therefore called for collaboration effort to tackle desertification in the north, adding that the agency has taken the tree planting campaign to the schools in order to create awareness among school children on the need to plant trees to combat the problem of land degradation and climate change.
“Desertification is a major constraint to economic and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals,” he said, adding that the World Bank estimated over N10.5 billion as annual loss through desertification, deforestation and drought.
Furthermore, he noted that the people living in this region are heavily dependent on land, water and vegetation resources for their livelihood which is fast deteriorating as a result of desertification.
“If we can collectively take action against deforestation and other related environmental issues, we will not only improve land productivity, but will provide the bedrock for agriculture growth, create employment leading to a positive cycle of economic growth,” he concluded.
The Federal Government through the Great Green Wall programme is fighting desertification in Kebbi, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Adamawa, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara states.