Minister of Environment, Hassan Suleiman Zarma, has said that the Forestry Institute of Nigeria Ibadan, (FRIN), has a very crucial role to play in the cleanup of Ogoniland, especially in the re-establishment of the Mangroves and general restoration of remediated land.
The Minister, who stated this at the weekend during his working visit to Ibadan, directed the institute to scale up its research efforts and training in addressing gully erosion using biological means, desertification, pollution control and climate change.
In a statement signed by the Director of Press, Saghir el Mohammed, Zarma noted that the Programmes of the institute cut across all areas of Biodiversity, saying, it is strategically placed to support and enable the achievements of National Afforestation targets through the production and improvement of indigenous species, establishment of exotic species, timber utilisation, forest products and development and environmental forestry and protection.
“I am pleased to note that as the lead agency on the afforestation programme funded via the green bonds, there has been an achievement of an increase in our forest cover by 5 per cent,” he said.
While noting that the Institute has embarked on key initiatives to enable it sustain itself by looking inwards via honey production, fisheries and the likes, he said its most impressive impact however is in the training of farmers in agroforestry.
The Minister emphasised that President Buhari has given matching orders to implement various policies and programmes that will benefit the generality of the people, preserve the environment, assure food security and create jobs for the multitudes of young people.
“In this connection therefore, I am directing FRIN to re-calibrate its afforestation programme to ensure that there is an in built mechanism to engage communities in the post planting management of established afforestation projects across the country”, he said.
In response, the Director General of FRIN, Dr Adeshola Adepoju assured the Minister that FRIN will continue to do more towards providing afforestation cover for the country.