By Agba Philip and Ilam Patricia.
A call has gone out to
Young Crossriverians to explore the opportunities presented by the Green Carnival by participating in the various businesses thrown up by the projext.
The Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade noted that such opportunities included planting and developing seedlings from nursery stage so as to sale to the State government and other private individuals especially since the government had made budgetary provision for such seedlings and that the event would be held annually.
The Governor stated this at the Calabar Green Carnival which he flagged off on the 30th of July, 2019 at Botanical Garden, Mary Slessor Avenue in Calabar.
According to Prof. Ben Ayade; “Crossriverians are here gathered to plant one million trees, that represent more than 35% of the total number of trees that will be felled to give way to the legacy Super Highway”.
“The saharization of our Savannah and saharization of our rainforest is very clear that indeed, if we don’t do something, what we see as climate change is real and will affect us.”
“We are planting one million trees as a justification of support of the deforestation process, not only for the super highway but for the industrial farm that are yet to come because you can’t create a farm without deforestation.”
“So young Crossriverians you have a great opportunity to do business but today, let’s plant the trees, let’s plant on the streets of Calabar.”
Also , the Governor of Abia State, Dr. Okezie Ikoeazu who graced the event in Calabar stressed that, “the event(Green Carnival) was another futuristic project like no other in Nigeria.”
According to Ikpeazu , many politicians in Nigeria have been regarded as election politicians but Prof Ben Ayade is a a generational politician, looking beyond the next elections and tomorrow but indeed Nigeria and the world.
“I congratulate you once again for putting Nigeria on the world map, but this time in terms of climate change and remediation thereof.”
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary of Cross River State, Ministry of Climate Change and Forestry, Mr Timothy Obang Abgaji said that Cross River State was nature’s gift to Nigeria, explaining that it’s because it holds over 50% of the twenty one bio diversified heat spot in the whole world.
According to him; , “we have mangrove that stretches larger than any other state in Nigeria, we have five Eco types namely, the mangrove, be the rainforest, Savannah, etc.”
“In future, nature’s lesson to us will become the source of our income, I see a future where Cross River State would run green bonds in international stock exchange market, said Mr Abgaji went on to say that; “We would convert carbon using our trees through the simple process of photosynthesis to deliver oxygen to the atmosphere and that will help to stabilize the global ecosystem”
In the same vein, the Chairperson, Green Carnival, Dr. Mrs Alice Alok Ekwu commended the Governor for initiating the Ministry of Climate Change and Forestry, to properly deal with the issues of climate change mitigation which she termed ‘a global trend’.
She added that “the globe has become warmer than ever before”. She also praised the Governor for launching Cross River State to the global scene and for placing the state on the map of climate change work space.
The Green Carnival is an initiative of the Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade birthed in December 2018, from the Calabar Carnival held every year.
Other notable personalities at the event were the Speaker, Cross River State House of Assembly, Right Hon. Eteng Jonas Williams, other members of the state house of assembly, a member of the house of representatives. Hon Legor Idabo, the Chief Judge of Cross River State, Justice Micheal Edem, PDP State Chairman, Hon. Edim Inok, and a host of others
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