FG designates 10 forest reserves as national parks
To ward off miscreants and tackle climate change, the Federal Government has created 10 new national parks in states’ owned forest reserves.
The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, said a law backing the proposed parks will be forwarded to the National Assembly as executive bill.
According to him, the creation of additional parks has become vital in view of the prevailing effects of climate change and the United Nation’s policy of protecting 25 per cent of its member countries forests.
Abubakar stated that their creation needed apparatus to ward off criminals, support the current fight against insurgency and organised crimes, especially, elements living or looking for hideouts in these areas.
He gave the names of the proposed parks as Allawa National Park in Niger, Apoi and Edumenum National Parks in Bayelsa, Falgore National Park in Kano, Hadeja Wetland National Park in Jigawa, Kampe National Park in Kwara State.
Others are Kogo National Park in Katsina, Marhai National Park in Nasarawa, Oba Hills National Park in Osun, and Pandam National Park in Plateau.
Explaining further, the Minister noted that the first Park was created in Kanji Lake in 1979,followed by Kamuku in Kaduna, Gashaka-Gumti Adamawa and Taraba states, Chad Basin in Borno and Yobe states, Okomu in Edo, Cross River State and Old Oyo Park.
He noted that Nigeria currently has 6.7 per cent of its total landmass under vegetation cover, which is grossly inadequate in line with global best practices, saying, these parks will create more employment opportunities.
His words: “The National Parks are Nigeria’s eco-treasure and have the potentials of contributing substantially to the economy when fully developed as obtained in East and Southern Africa. national security is crucial to protected areas.”
Abubakar emphasised that the parks contain several rich and diverse varieties of rare and endangered species like Elephants, Gorillas, Giraffes, Monkeys, Golden Cats, Hippopotami, crocodiles and plant species.
On his part, the Conservator General of National Park Service, Dr. Ibrahim Goni, commended the government for increasing parks from seven to seventeen, adding that they cut across the ecological zones of the country except the marine eco-system.