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Great Green Wall: First Lady, Shettima plant trees at Aso Villa

Great Green Wall: First Lady, Shettima plant trees at Aso Villa

The First Lady, Sen. Oluremi Tinubu, and Vice President  Kashim Shettima have performed symbolic planting of  trees  in commemoration of the Inaugural Great Green Wall(GGW) Day celebration.

The duo conducted the exercise on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, as part of the GGW Day 2023 celebration.

The Great Green Wall is an initiative of the AU to combat the effects of climate change and desertification in Africa.

The vice president delivered a keynote address titled: “The Promise of a Green World,’’ the vice president alerted stakeholders to dangers of climate change”.

Shettima said:  “The world as we know it; has been changing; our temperatures are becoming extreme; our rivers are drying up; our wildlife has become endangered and our forests are thinning out.

“We are not only at the mercy of a world with inadequate green landscapes but we are also forced to migrate towards greener pastures.

“The frightening reality is why we are gathered here today; this is what has inspired the GGW project.

“We are the silver lining in this search for a green and benign world; one that guarantees food security and prevents climate-induced migration.’’

Shettima said that the GGW for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI) was born in 2007 to prevent the ecological nightmare looming over the continent.

According to him, it is a daring yet practical intervention to save humanity and rebuild the world to keep the lands fertile and boost agrarian economies.

He said that 10 years ago, Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Environment, took up the challenge to partake in the Pan-African mission to save the world.

Shettima added: “This has been prioritised by our policymakers so that by 2015, the National Agency for the Great Green Wall(NAGGW) was enacted by an enabling Act of Parliament.

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“I appeal to all of us to see this initiative as an emergency rescue operation; we inherited a dream that we cannot afford to relegate because doing so is not even an option.

“Our predecessors were aware of the danger ahead; and the burden is upon us now to pursue this mission as a life-saving mission and we must carry all stakeholders along to achieve this.

“The completion of the GGW was a promise made by President Bola Tinubu in his campaign manifesto because the cost of doing otherwise threatens our collective existence.

“We are, therefore, pleased to share that this inaugural GGW is both a exercise in demonstrating our commitment to this initiative and act of self-preservation.’’

He said the event was also designed to honour one of the cardinal resolutions taken at the 8th Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of Member Countries implementing the GGW initiative held in Abuja on June 16, 2022.

Shettima said that Nigeria’s place as the current President of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall(PAGGW) had handed it the burden of leading the other 10 member states by example.

He said that much could be done before the expiration of the two-year responsibility by December 2023.

The vice president implored all stakeholders to invest in the actualisation of the transformative initiative.

In his opening remarks, the Director-General, NAGGW, Dr Yusuf Maina-Bukar, said it was established in 2015 to pursue the laudable vision of the AU and the Heads of State and Government.

He said that heads of state adopted and launched GGW for the Sahara and Sahel Initiative in 2007.

Maina-Bukar spoke on the goals of the agency and measures adopted to achieve success.

“The major objectives of transforming Nigeria’s dry lands by the agency are through afforestation, reforestation, provision of alternative sources of cooking and energy use.

“And the agency has since 2015, made considerable progress in adapting and mitigating the impact of emerging  climate change  threats in the frontline states.

“The frontline states are: Borno,Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Bauchi, Gombe and Adamawa,’’ he said.

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