Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has kicked off this year’s tree planting season in Coker Aguda Local Development Area (LCDA).
His representative, the Chief Whip in the House of Assembly, Hon Lateef Abiru, reiterated this year’s theme of the exercise: ‘Think green, plant trees and live green’.
Noting that the event coincided with the 10th Anniversary of the programme, he said so far, the government has planted over six million trees. He thanked corporate organisations and groups, including Ecobank, for their partnership, adding that this would not have been achieved without their assistance. He called for more support to the programme.
The governor emphasised the importance of tree planting to humanity, saying that besides providing food and shelter, trees wade off pollution and deforestation. If we must continue to live in good health, he said, then we must embrace tree planting. It is the cheapest way to tackle deforestation and climate change, he said.
He announced that this year, the government was adding 5,000 more trees and creating more parks and gardens in the local governments to be managed by the Parks and Gardens agency. He warned against the indiscriminate felling of trees or transplanting. He said even if trees would be pulled for development, this must be done legally.
A representative of the Commissioner for the Environment (Dr Babatunde Adejare), Mr Ayodele Oshifeso praised the government for its giant strides in tree planting last year. He said through the government’s Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI), the sector would be revamped and that no fewer than 27,000 jobs would be created for the citizens. He advised the people to cultivate the habit of tree planting during their weddings and birthdays.
The LCDA’s Sole Administrator Hon Temitope Shamsudeen Yusuf also urged the people to embrace tree planting, saying trees are vital to human existence.
Pupils of Atara Health Centre Nursery/Primary School, venue of the event, spice the occasion with a Yoruba dance and a poem recitation, which harped on the importance of trees to man and woman.