Gov El-Rufai yesterday flagged off 'Keep Kaduna Green Project'.Amina Mohammed represented President Buhari at the event.Below is an address presented by him at the event.....
Kaduna goes Green for jobs and the environment - Address by Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, at the flag-off of the Keep Kaduna Green Project; Kaduna, 30th June 2016
Let me begin by welcoming all our distinguished guests to Kaduna. I thank you most warmly for identifying with our project to make our state green by planting at least one million trees every year.
Our government considers the Keep Kaduna Green Project an important intervention. In planting one million trees every year, we intend to achieve many goals. Across our state, we will thereby be checking desertification. We will be creating jobs for the people who will plant and nurture the trees. The trees will ultimately grow and improve the look of our cities and towns. The shade and reassuring feel that leafy neighbourhoods project should be accessible to all residents of our state in their own neighbourhoods.
Trees play such a crucial role in the human drama. They help provide shelter, fuel and food; assist soil stability, protect water sources, and generally improve the environment. Yet too many people treat trees with regrettable indifference, cutting them down without replacements, destroying whole forested areas for purposes ranging from farming to real estate. Like most things with which nature has blessed humanity, there is a need for the necessary awareness and determination to use them in a sustainable way; to realise that these natural endowments need time to regenerate and that human beings are the ultimate losers when we adopt an attitude of unrelenting exploitation.
Therefore, we will accompany our Keep Kaduna Green project with a determined effort of public education. The goal is to foster a keen appreciation for nature across the generations. The projection is to engage about 26,000 persons across the state in the massive tree-planting effort we have embarked on. We trust that they will do their best to nurture the trees. But there is no doubt that our effort to Keep Kaduna Green will succeed only because our communities collectively support the project. I believe that we can persuade our people to invest their effort in protecting our environment, in beautifying our cities and in creating jobs.
Thus our grassroots approach to realising the goals of the Keep Kaduna Green Project involves ensuring that 65,000 trees are planted in each Local Government Area every year. Our communities will be mobilised to take concrete action against desert encroachment so as to preserve valuable arable land and ensure food security. In village and city alike, the cooling effect, and the air-filtering quality of trees are deeply appreciated.
The government will also provide an incentive for protecting and nurturing the seedlings. We have deliberately chosen economic trees for this project so that those who nurture them will have a share when the trees begin fruiting. Trees are valuable in themselves, but we hope the bonus of fruits will help make them much more valuable to many more people.
Ladies and Gentlemen, as we flag-off the Keep Kaduna Green project today by planting trees, I wish to urge all residents of Kaduna State to embrace the idea. In addition to the trees the government is planting, citizens can complement the effort by planting trees and flowers in their homes. Indeed, we have directed KASUPDA that henceforth, no building plans are to be approved for the construction of any building in our state unless the planting of at least four trees for every 900 square meters of land under development. In our schools, health centers and public facilities, aggressive tree planting will also be mandated. There will be further events to take the project across the state, engage our communities and make ours a state that is getting greener as it is becoming great again.
I wish to thank IDC, our partners in this grand effort, for their initiative and technical assistance they are providing for our tree-planting project. Our thanks go to the Vice Chancellor of the Kaduna State University for hosting us today, and all the senior government officials, members of the State Executive Council, our royal fathers and our State House of Assembly for being here to support this flag-off.
I wish to thank my sisters, the ministers of environment, and of budget and planning for being consistently supportive of all our initiatives in Kaduna State. My gratitude goes to Senator Binta Masi Garba, a daughter of Kaduna State who had represented Kaduna South twice in the House of Representatives but now represents Adamawa State in the Senate.
I thank my colleagues, the governors of Kebbi, Taraba, Jigawa and Sokoto States for being here physically or in representative capacity to support our efforts. Finally, the gratitude of Government and people of Kaduna State goes to our leader and mentor President Muhammadu Buhari who has consistently encouraged, supported and guided us in the direction of making Kaduna, his chosen state of residence for decades, a great place to live.
Thank you for listening.
God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria