The Ogun state Government has in its bid at ensuring availability of trees,especially indigenous ones in it’s reserves signed a collaborative agreement with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan for planting of 300 hectares of land to indegenous trees at Olokemeji Forest Reserve in Odeda Local Government area.
While Engineer Oludotun signed the documents on behalf of the state Government, Miss Hilda koper Mimborg, Deputy Director General, IITA signed on behalf of the Institute .
Speaking on the occasion held in Abeokuta, the Commissioner for Forestry, Engineer Taiwo Oludotun noted that the phase two planting exercise which was for a period of five years during which more trees can be requested for was in addition to the Nigerian Breweries (NB)500 hectares plantation held in 2021.
In addition to this, he said other small Medium enterprises(SME’s) and other corporate bodies also joined the state government in the tree planting exercise.
Engineer Oludotun further said that the project which aims at providing underground water structure to the state is internationally funded with tangible benefits to the inhabitants of the forest community.
Moreover, the commissioner noted that the project plans to take care of schools and host communities by teaching them alternative sources of livelihood rather than cutting down the resources Government, he posited had made frantic efforts in the past, geared towards developing the forestry sector . For instance, the ministry, according to him had a target of regenerating thousand of hectares of plantation annually within the limited resources available.
“I wish to make it known that the state Government had over the years been making efforts at developing the forestry sector.”
During the past few years, the ministry had a target of regenerating 1,000 hectares of plantation annually which we have been working with within the limited available resources. This year, God helpng us, we are to establish at least 770hectares through public private partnership (PPP)initiatives”. He said.
The Commissioner however, Commended the state Government for the numerous support Over the years, part of which he observed Culminated in the signing ceremony.
In addition, he Commended IITA for believing in the state government, assuring the research Institute of government moral and technical supports towards making sure that the legacy being laid will stand a test
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Rotimiolu Akinlesi harped on the benefits of tree planting. These he said Include : reduction in Climate change, environmental amelioration, human survival and promotion of fresh breath for human beings.
In addition, he said the proces of planting trees, is a process of Saving lives.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Deputy Director General (Corporate Services)IITA, miss Hilda Kopar Mimborg said Various steps have been taken by the Institute at ensuring the success of the project.
In addition Hilda urged governments to ensure the safety of the trees by putting up security measures in place towards ensuring their survival
Good will messages were also delievered by Stakeholders in the Forestry industry present at the Signing ceremony.