ALHAJI ABUBAKAR SANI BELLO, GOVERNOR NIGER STATE AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE 28TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE AND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE NIGERIA ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIETY HOLDING AT JUSTICE LEGBO KUTIGI INTERNATIONAL CINFERENCE CENTER MINNA, NIGER STATE, ON TUESDAY 6TH NOVEMBER, 2018.
2. I delighted to join other to welcome you all to Niger state. It is indeed an honor to be associated with the Nigerian Environmental Society (NES), and also appreciate you for finding Niger State worthy of being the host for this years National Conference and annual general meeting.
3. As a professional, nonprofit, non-governmental organization, your committed to the protection of the profession of Environmental Science and Engineering is commendable. The fact that your society has been in the forefront of the vanguard for Environmental protection and resources conservation since 1985 is praiseworthy.
4. I understand that you are all here in Minna for your National Conference, which holds annually to review and promote public understanding of your activities. By so doing, you are positively contributing to sound National Policies in matters relating to environmental quality and control for sustainable growth and development of our country.
5. For us in Niger State, right from the inception of our administration in 2015, we understood and appreciated the environment better and the consequences associated with poor environmental management. So far we have been able to review our forestry laws, Constituted and inaugurated the State task force on total eradication of forest exploitation, undertook advocacy and sensitization campaign to all the eight (8) Emirate Councils in the State on the need to support afforestation of our forest reserves. This is in addition to the engagement and training of over 500 Forestry Guards to protect and guard our forest and game reserves in the State.
6. Just recently, we have also paid our counterpart fund contributions of Three Hundred Million Naira (N300, 000,000) to the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) to cushion the effects of the menace of gully erosions ravaging our state and posing great threat to the lives of our people.
7. We had to take these initiatives because we are usually the most hit in the annual devastating flooding. This year 22 out of our 25LGAs were affected by the floods leaving behind families, communities in very perplexing conditions. Our people were homeless, farmlands were destroyed and economic activities paralyzed. However, we have commenced a baseline study of Ecological problem sites across the 25 Local Government Areas of the State with the aim of finding lasting solution to this problem. I challenge the society to come up with innovative ways of mitigating these perennial environmental issues.
8. Distinguish Guest, ladies and gentlemen; while I congratulate all the awardees and recipients of various categories of awards at this years conference, I would like to appreciate the Executives and Members of NES for finding me worthy of the Honorary Fellowship.
9. It is in the acknowledgement of this award that I use this medium to recognize the tremendous contributions of one of our outstanding female personality in Niger State in the person of Hajiya Aisha Lemu. We are therefore naming the green area/park in our low density Three Arms Zone after her as Aisha Sheick Ahemd Lemu Conservatory and Children Park. The Park would serve as a learning and conservation center for our children and also to protect this vital part of our city from encroachment. I expect the Ministries of Environment and Forestry, Lands and Housing and the Women Affairs to implement this decision with immediate effect so as to provide a befitting recreational area for our people.
10. Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I once again welcome you all to Niger State and wish you fruitful deliberations.
11. It is my honor and privilege to now officially declare this conference open.