By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammed Mahmood Abubakar has said that Gombe State, under the leadership of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has done very well in environmental management and collaboration with federal government agencies under the jurisdiction of his ministry.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Director-General (Press Affairs) Government House Gombe, Ismaila Uba Misilli, made available on Tuesday.
The Minister, in particular, described the Gombe Goes Green initiative of Governor Inuwa Yahaya as a flag bearer in environmental management, conservation and regeneration and called on other states across the country to emulate the project.
Dr. Mahmood Abubakar was speaking when Governor Yahaya paid him a visit at his office in Abuja.
The meeting was a follow up to the previous one held by the two leaders with regards to the relationship between Gombe state government and the federal ministry of environment.
He noted that Gombe state has now become a household name in the environment sector owing to Governor Inuwa Yahaya’s disposition and sustained efforts in addressing environmental challenges in his state.
” Gombe has been up and doing and has done so much in terms of environmental management. To cap it up also with your development plan, I have seen the line up of activities that you have there which further illustrates how far you can go in the management of the environment “.
“The biggest you can do today in the world to fight climate change is to plant as many trees as you can, they will not be too much, trees perform wonders. Today we are more focused in absorbing emissions, trees do a lot because they provide part of the structural support system of our planet without trees a lot of things will fall apart”.
The Minister assured Governor Inuwa Yahaya that the Federal Ministry of Environment will continue to work with the Gombe State Government to address all the concerns raised even as he disclosed plan by his ministry to resuscitate the waste management facility in the state to address challenges of waste management, saying already a provision has been made in the budget in that regard.
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya had earlier solicited for more support from the federal government towards combating the environmental menace caused by the over 200 active gullies dotted across the State.
He thanked the minister for the support the Gombe has received so far from the environment ministry and sought for more collaboration for the benefit of the State and by extension the entire North East sub-region. The Governor noted that being in a semi arid region with loose soil texture, Gombe is confronted with numerous environmental challenges which include flooding, deforestation, desertification and massive gully erosion crises. He acknowledged the support of the Federal Ministry Environment towards ensuring the timely commencement of the GSU- Malam Inna gully erosion control project which is nearing completion through NEWMAP.
“With regards to the issues of gullies, I know NEWMAP is coming close to an end and like you mentioned earlier, a follow up project is coming on stream that is why Gombe State needs to be given priority because we started lately because in Gombe metropolis alone there are 5 existing gullies which cover close to about 30 kilometers and the gullies we are controlling now cover only about 7.5 kilometres”.
While identifying his administration’s effort in regenerating the environment, Governor Inuwa Yahaya said the Gombe Goes Green, 3G project has keyed into the national afforestation programme which seeks to plant and nurture 25 million trees annually.
” We have succeeded in putting Gombe state on the map of states trying to ensure the afforestation and restoration of the vegetational cover of the country viz-a-viz the implications with regards to global warming and climatic change.
He thanked the Federal Ministry of Environment for continued support in addressing other environmental issues such as waste management and commended the minister for securing funding from the European Investment Bank to further sustain NEWMAP activities in the State and the country at large.
Governor Inuwa Yahaya equally solicited for the ministry’s support towards the implementation of the FCE Erosion control project which he said is very critical to the state and sufficient funding for the Bogo and Dadinkowa ereosion control works to enable their completion.
He called for the urgent completion of the abandoned Waste Management facility in Gombe to address challenges in the ecosystem and aquaculture which will see the plant recycling plastics and metallic waste materials.
He assured of Gombe state’s readiness and willingness to continue to partner and provide support in tackling numerous environmental challenges in the state.
The Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor in a remark, described Gombe styate as a shining example for other states, assuring Governor Inuwa Yahaya that the ministry will collaborate with the Gombe Government to encourage young individuals who may wish to go into the business of plastic collections and recycling, giving the fact that plastics are not only inimical to the environment but dangerous to plants and animals.