The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has approved the establishment of 10 additional national parks.
Minister of Environment, Mohammad Abubakar, announced this on Thursday at a press briefing in Abuja.
He said the establishment of the 10 parks would increase the country’s national parks to 17, adding that an executive bill would be sent to the National Assembly on the development.
Abubakar said, “The President has graciously approved the establishment of 10 additional national parks bringing the total number of the national parks in the country to 17.
“To give credence and legal backing to this worthy cause, an executive bill will soon be presented to the National Assembly for further necessary action.”
The minister stated that the first national park in Nigeria, Kanji Lake, was created in 1979.
This, he said, was followed by six others spread across the country.
“The creation of additional national parks in Nigeria has become imperative in view of the prevailing effects of climate change across the globe,” Abubakar said.
He added, “This action is geared towards the United Nation’s policy of placing 25 per cent of its member countries’ landmass under permanent vegetation cover for carbon sequestration to mitigate the effects of climate change and ameliorate other ecological challenges.”
Abubakar said Nigeria currently had 6.7 per cent of its total landmass under vegetation cover, which was grossly inadequate in line with global best practices.
He said the parks would further create more employment opportunities, alleviate poverty in rural areas and ultimately enhance the country’s revenue profile.