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Nigeria: Deforestation – Country Ranks Highest in Africa, Says FG
Nasidi Adamu Yahaya
26 January 2009
Deforestation has been estimated to contribute not less than 20% to Climate Change globally and Nigeria ranks highest in Africa on the problem, the Minister of Environment John Odey has said. Odey advocated the cultivation of non-timber forest trees to combat the growing problems of desertification in the Northern belt of Nigeria.
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The Minister who gave this hint in an interactive session with officials of the Forestry Unit of the Ministry in Abuja weekend, said the brief was to enable him appraise the scope of work of the unit and the gravity of the problems of desertification in Nigeria. He said, “Deforestation is estimated to be contributing not less than 20% to Climate Change globally and Nigeria ranks highest in Africa on the problem of deforestation.” He added that current estimate shows that desert encroaches into the Nigerian landmass at the rate of 600 meters per annum thereby threatening the food base of the country. The Minister told the officials that there is need to change the attitude of Nigerians towards the forest and this can only be done by integrating the needs of the masses into the forest development plans.