The Lagos State Government has urged the residents to plant more trees across the state in order to preserve the environment as well as diversify the nation’s economy from the current dependence on crude oil.
The Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Babatunde Adejare, made the call at the 2016 tree-planting awareness seminar organised by the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency.
“Tree planting is one of the most valuable tools available to help transform unhealthy cities into healthy ones and improve agricultural productivity, resulting in high yielding and improved economic plants to enhance profitable and sustainable agriculture,” he said.
According to the commissioner, planting trees will help to restore degraded ecosystems, produce food, medicine and also provide environmental stability.
Adejare added that the state government placed high premium on the environment and that issues affecting it could only be resolved through collective efforts.
A professor from the Department of Agriculture, University of Ibadan, Musiliu Onilude, said that over 80 per cent of the country’s original forests had been depleted in the last decade.
He said there was a need to start a culture of tree planting as the largest source of breathable oxygen.
“Tree planting should be the heart of our policies; there should be proper orientation of people on the need to plant trees,” he said.
A lecturer from the Department of Marine Sciences, University of Lagos, Dr. Julius Agboola, stated that tree planting should be integrated into the national economy to help reduce carbon footprint as well as provide food.
Agboola noted that millions of trees had been planted in Lagos since the inception of the tree planting campaign in 2008.
He said the state government should make tree planting a culture and have policy to drive its sustainability.
“There should be a recreation of urban forest in the state as this will provide business opportunities in green waste management and landscaping among others,” the don noted.
Agboola also urged LASPARK to create centres where residents of the state could have access to free tree seedlings.
The General Manager, LASPARK, Mrs. Abimbola Jijoho-Ogun, said more trees were needed as part of a renewed national effort to increase the country’s overall tree canopy.