The Federal Capital Territory Administration on Thursday established a 25-man committee to tackle the menace of deforestation in the Federal Capital City and the six Area Councils.
The Chairperson of the Deforestation Committee and Honourable Minister of State for the FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, disclosed that the committee was established to find a holistic approach to controlling the hazard in the FCT.
Akinjide, who inaugurated the Committee, explained that the FCT was faced with various environmental problems such as excessive heat, erosion, bush burning, flood and loss of soil fertility, which has contributed to food insecurity.
She said: “The effects of deforestation in FCT today cannot be over-emphasised since it is witnessed by all and sundry.
“It is evident in the increased FCT daily temperature in recent times.
“Few years ago, the highest daily temperature was as low as 27 degrees centigrade but now is between 34 degrees centigrade and 37 degrees centigrade in some months of the year.
“My attention has also been drawn to the increasing rate of deforestation in FCT, which is seen in heaps of fire-wood, bags of charcoal along our major roads, piles of timber exploitation from already over-exploited forests.”
The minister charged members of the committee to identify the immediate and remote causes of deforestation in the FCT and also proffer effective ways of enforcing the existing forest law in the territory.
She also directed the committee to recommend possible areas of inter-departmental collaborations with a view to curbing deforestation and ameliorating its effects.
“The inauguration of the committee will no doubt help to foster a harmonious relationship with our environment and lead to achieving a sustainable environmental development, especially now that the entire world is facing the menace of climate change/global warning that are having negative effects on the environment and man,” she added.
Members of the Committee include: Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat in the FCT, Mrs. Olvadi Bema Madayi; Secretary of Area Council Service Secretariat, Alhaji Yahaya Ibrahim; Chairman of Abuja Municipal Area Council, Hon. Micah Jiba; Chairman of Bwari Area Council, Hon. Peter Yohanna; Chairman of Kuje Area Council, Hon. Danladi Etsu Zhin; Chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Hon. Zakari Angulu Dobi; Chairman of Abaji Area Council, Hon. Yahaya Musa Muhammed; and Chairman of Kwali Area Council, Hon. Joseph Shazin.
Also on the list of members of the Deforestation Committee are: Director of Engineering Services, FCTA, Engr. Adamu Abu; Director of Urban & Regional Planning, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman; Director of Satellite Towns Development Agency, Alhaji Tukur Ibrahim Bakori; Director of Parks & Recreation, FCTA, Mr. Ologun Rowland; Director of Development Control, Mr. Yahaya Yusuf; and Director of Compensation and Resettlement Department, Mr. Francis Okechukwu.
Other members of the committee are: Director of Abuja Environmental Protection Board, Alhaji Isa Shuaibu; Director of Federal Department of Forestry, Mr. John Auta; Director of Agriculture in the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat of FCTA, Mr. Adamu Wakili Zinze; Deputy Director (Agric Services), Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat of FCTA, Mrs. Margaret Gwamma; Director of FCT Fadama III, Alhaji Danladi Salisu Ibrahim; and representatives of Minister of Environment, Green Tree Africa Initiative and Abuja Green Society.