The Nigerian Conservation Foundation, NCF, has warned that Nigeria may soon become a desert following the continuous loss of its land mass to desert encroachment on a yearly basis.
The Director General of NCF, Dr. Muktari Aminu-Kano, gave the warning in Lagos on Sunday at the 2018 edition of the Green Ball series.
This year’s theme is “Green Recovery Nigeria: Restoring Mangroves and Reclaiming the Desert.”
Giving a frightening statistics, he said except urgent steps were taken to stop the increasing rate of deforestation and forest degradation, the country might be in trouble.
While he said that the use of firewood should be stopped, he said there was need to retain a significant proportion of Nigeria’s landmass under forest.
He added that governments at the different levels should prevent tree felling.
He said attention should be drawn to the dangers of tree felling while promoting tree planting.
Said he: “Green Recovery Nigeria is our push to bring the agenda that Nigeria is pathetically losing 95 per cent of its forest cover and we have only five per cent left.
“350,000 hectares of land are being lost annually to desertification and the land lost is about 0.6, which is about half a kilometre every year.
“If you think you live in Lagos and it cannot reach you, it will only take some time. Imagine the annual movement of 0.6 kilometres.’’
Speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of the NCF Board of Trustees, Chief Philip Asiodu, said Nigeria had failed to implement the agreement it had with the Food and Agriculture Organisation in 1988 to restore 25 per cent of its forest cover.
As it is, he said, Nigeria had lost almost all its forest cover.
He said the effects of climate change were becoming obvious with the amount of gully erosions and desertification in the country.