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Reps panel lauds govt over great green wall



THE House of Representatives Committee on Environment has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his unflinching commitment to the Great Green Wall programme, affirming that the full implementation of the project has enormous potentials for increasing the country’s Growth Domestic Product (GDP)

Other advantages of the programme, the committee added, include, poverty alleviation, biodiversity conservation as well as increasing the nations forest cover in line with United Nations (UN) requirement of 25% forest cover for member nations.

Commending the Federal Government at an interactive session between the House Committee on Environment and officials of the ministry at the weekend in Abuja, Committee Chairman Uche Ekwunife also called for synergy between stakeholders for the full and successful implementation of the programme in order to ensure that it set objectives were fully realized for the benefit of the country and the West African sub-region. 

Ekwunife also assured Nigerians  that the National Assembly would diligently exercise its oversight responsibility to ensure the success of the programme.

She also called on the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Laraba Mallam to ensure that the inputs from the international community, the African Union(AU)  and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) as well as other relevant stakeholders are properly harnessed for the faithful implementation of the programme in line with Global Environment Facility (GEF) standards, in order to achieve maximum and desired results. 

She further advised that the implementation of the Great Green Wall programme should be anchored on the blue print of the project and a carefully designed work plan in order to avoid the pitfalls of past efforts at implementation, adding that her committee will work closely with the Ministry to ensure the success of this laudable programme. Commenting on the institutional framework of the programme,she  called on Laraba Mallam to expedite action to ensure that the Executive Bill for an Act to create an Agency for the Great Green Wall is brought before the National Assembly, promising that her committee will do everything within its powers to ensure the expeditious passage of the bill so as to provide the desired enabling environment for the programme to thrive. 

Briefing members of the House Committee on Environment, Laraba Mallam told the committee that the proposal for a bill for an act to establish the Great Green Wall Agency has already been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), and that the ministry was putting finishing touches to it before it will forward to the National Assembly for enactment. 

The minister assured the committee that the implementation of the programme is effectively on course, appealing to members to visit the 11 frontline states to see for themselves what has been accomplished in the field of implementation, promising that they will not be disappointed. 

members also called on all stakeholders to show greater commitment to the project in order to ensure its successful implementation, noting that the ministry should step-up its coordination efforts, while urging the states to step-up more efforts in the allocation and management of land for the project. 

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