The Director General of National Agency for Great Green Wall (NAGGW), Ahmed Goni, has said efforts are ongoing to rehabilitate productive areas and stabilise the movement of the desert through several methods in the frontline states.
Speaking on the state of desertification in Nigeria, Goni said that desertification is a major problem affecting the frontline states. He said its enormity, triggered by climate change, has caused serious degradation of the land, which translated into serious poverty.
The NAGGW boss said because of the urgent need to address the issue, the Federal Government dedicated some percentage of the ecological fund to be released to the GGW to tackle the challenges of the arid areas.
He said: “The agricultural production has reduced, people have become poorer and the land has become very difficult area for people to live in, with sand dune brewing up and other forms of land degradation.”
This dry region, according to him, is occupying a very important economic position for the country. He noted that it is in this area that we have 90 per cent of vegetables and bulk of livestock produce and 80 to 90 percent of grains that are consumed by the people.
“If we don’t protect it, it is going to be a serious problem, it has caused serious migration and comes with insurgence which is the bye-product of environmental problems, drying of Lake Chad and more.”
He said the agency is looking at the possibility of going into partnership with international organizations and will continue to sensitize communities on the consequences of not addressing this fundamental issue of dry land, forced immigration, lesser production of agricultural products and the encroachment of the desert itself.