Osun, Nassarawa And Jigawa Roll Up Sleeves For New Parks - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Osun, Nassarawa And Jigawa Roll Up Sleeves For New Parks

CG Ibrahim Goni receiving a gift from Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa state

By Frank Meke

Unknown to many Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari, has rewritten the narratives about the Nigerian protected areas value chain, when he inaugurated additional ten new parks across the country.

The refreshing initiative which got thumbs up from global conservation community, however like issues concerning environment and natural resources conservation, was celebrated as a national frontier of development.

Indeed, the development is unarguably the best futuristic sociopolitical and economic stimulus growth effort in the history of Nigerian development.

Today is not for appraising these developments but to underscore the impact of the new protected areas to state governments where they are located. 

Over the years, there have been unheeded outcry over systemic disappearance of  the once flourishing presence of local and state governments forest ecosystem and the consequent negative impact on our people and their way of life particularly in the areas of sustainable agriculture and underground water resources management.

From Sokoto to Calabar, Owerri to Kebbi, Nigeria at the invent of oil, threw the gains of biodiversity to the winds, and in some if not all the states of federation, local government holdbay on forest reserves ditto that of the states, became destination for bricks and mortars, a sad feature of climate change and its dread on man and beats.

Significantly, the President signature reversal of the dead environmental tunnel to which we ignorantly badged ourselves, restored hope and faith to getting federating  states  to support the dream effort.

And sequel to legislative process and engagement, President Buhari further approved a take off grant of five hundred million naira, to seed the effective take off the Parks, initiative support zone education and awareness, to wit, get the strategic buy in of  the concerned state governors.

Yes, in thirty years of Nigeria protected areas efforts, we won't be tired of scaling up this cheering positives for nature management, as most profound.

We shall not also forget to consistent and relentless effort of Ibrahim Goni, and his team at the Nigeria Park Service for making this dream happen. Sharon ikpeazu, lawyer and developmental specialist as Minister of state, Environment, must be counted for the turn around fortunes of the additional influencers on the conservation map of Nigeria.

And a not recent visit to Osun state governor,  Adegboyega Oyetola  who rolled red carpet to welcome Ibrahim Goni, the conservator General of the federation and his team, reaffirmed and reassured of the readiness of most beneficial states to bridge quick validation of the Parks.

Osun state has Oba Hills National Park, a fusion of rain forest with table top topographic catchment frontiers, expected to sanitize unbridled environmental degradation driven by human exploitation.

Osun state honourable commissioner for environment, Honourable Sola Oladipo, who was at forefront osun state ranking as destination for protected area, led the conservator General to engage Governor Oyetola, who rolled out red carpets with the full executive council presence, to assure that his state, will provide all necessary support to ensure oba hill in no distant future, will  be reckoned as a critical player in climate mate management and ecological tourism 

Governor Oyetola also was full praise to President Buhari, for  changing the national conservation landscape and for counting osun state, worthy to carry one of the flags of the ten new parks in the country. 

To hit  the ground running to breathe life to these Parks, Ibrahim Goni, and his team also visited nasarawa  and jigawa states  where similar expressions and intents were articulated to breed new horizons for the Parks, located in those states.

Nasarawa governor Abdullahi Sule, appreciated President Buhari for the upgrading of the marhai forest reserve to a national Park, adding that the presence of the green enclave will add to the tourism value of Farin Ruwa waterfalls in the state.

His Jigawa counterpart who hosted the Conservator General,  Alhaji Ibrahim Goni, in his Abuja governor's liaison  office, expressed same sentiments and appreciation for the upgrading of the jigawa Hadija  wetlands to a National Park , the first on the west of Africa and in Nigeria. Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar assured of giving the new park all the enabling environment to flourish.

In the emerging conservation circle, it is believed and seen that the presence and actualization of the ten new parks under the watch of Ibrahim Goni and his team, is the biggest checklist achievement in the history of natural resources conservation in Nigeria. Unarguably, the feat by Goni Ibrahim remain an intercontinental profile identify and milage for conservation as no African nation have at a one swoop, inaugurated and funded ten new parks.

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