A stakeholder in the environmental sector and Chairman, Wood Expo Nigeria (WEN), Arc. Danny Sokari-George has said the federal government’s 25 million trees planting policy is achievable. expressing the willingness of his organisation to collaborate on making the dream come to reality.
Sokari-George said in order to birth the 25 million trees across the country, WEN will partner state governments and engage the youths to create jobs from the value chain of wood
He gave the commitment on Thursday in Abuja while speaking at the pre-event press conference for 2023 Wood Expo Nigeria to create awareness for the event schedule for Lagos in November.
Sokari-George, said WEN has a vision of partnering state governors to help the federal government realise its plan of planting 25 million trees.
He said: “We want to contribute to the president’s plan in the planting of 25 million trees by seeking partnerships with state governors.”
He also said that it’s not a waste to invest in tree planting because of the huge economic benefits, “it is not a waste of time to secure land and plant trees because when you plant trees today there are ready buyers to buy it off here in Nigeria and abroad. And biologically it is beneficial to the environment.
“We will engage the youths in planting of trees because it will be beneficial to both parties. The youths will benefit economically and it will also help our solve our forest depletion.
“Tree planting investment can give you three time of your investment in ten years.” Sokari-George said.
He disclosed that: “We are going to have a wood exhibition in November and you will see all that you can do with wood.”
He said: “WEN has a vision by the architect who is planning to grow and use wood in a sensible manner.”
He added that. If our forests are occupied actively by good people, terrorists can’t reside there; we can’t leave the tree planting plan to die because of insecurity.”
The Director, WEN, Hassan Abdulkadrir, said though Nigerians have had the opportunity to learn how to turn waste Into bio-energy, WEN will in November at the Wood Expo teach (practically) Nigerians on how to turn their waste to energy.
He said: “We will teach Nigerians how to produce biogas and organic fertilizer with waste.
“This thing has been praticalised in various places across the country; our research institutions, some private institutes, and even at household levels. So as we have been doing at wood Expo showcasing this technologies and how they work. Definitely you are going to see this and how it works come November at the wood Expo in Lagos.
“We are not only organising an exhibition alone but we are also building capacity, by creating awareness so that individuals, cooperate entities will know how to utilise this forest resources.”
He also spoke on the economic benefits of bamboo, “bamboo if harnexed can create millions of jobs because of its value chain.
“Bamboo can be used for bio energy; We will introduce bamboo technology in Nigeria, for bags, chairs, tables, flask, bio-fertilser and others.”
He said though currently no economically viable bamboo plantation or factory is up and running in the country, WEN will synergise with bamboo factory to be up and running in the country.
He noted that “our major problem with wood is our inability to convert wood Into semi or finished products. We will bring in investors who will provide the technology and we are engaging stakeholders who are engaging policy makers for a policy drive.”