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Co-workers laud Dr Maina-Bukar’s achievements as NAGGW DG


Co-workers laud Dr Maina-Bukar’s achievements as NAGGW DG

Story from Vivian DANIEL, Abuja

The Director-General of the National Agency for the Great Green Walls (NAGGW), Dr Yusuf Maina-Bukar, has been described as an innovative, dynamic leader with an enormous passion to transform the dry land of the nation.

Co-workers of Dr Maina-Bukar hailed him during a press briefing held in Abuja on April 4th, 2023 to mark his one year in office as the Director-General/CEO of the National Agency for the Great Green Wall.

They commended the NAGGW boss’s rare ability to listen to staff and guide them in whatever they do.


Also speaking during the event, the policy advocate and convener of the Initiative for Ethnic & Value Reorientation, Solade Olayinka, described Dr Yusuf as vigilant, meticulous, and one who pays attention to little details because he insists on wanting to know and hear from everyone.

According to Solade, the Director-General of NAGGW sees the application of processes as a watchword. His administration is gender sensitive and understands the critical role it plays in the attainment of the agency’s goals and initiatives.

Solade said the appointment of Dr Yusuf Maina-Bukar was a proven case of having “square pegs in round holes”.

A statement issued by the agency said the Director-General of NAGGW, Dr Yusuf Maina-Bukar, reiterated the agency’s focus on implementing afforestation and reforestation activities, land restoration, sustainable land management practices, positive impact on the environment and the livelihoods of communities in the affected areas as part of the agency’s achievements under his reign.

It could be recalled that the fundamentals of the Nigerian component of the Great Green Wall Initiatives include reversing desertification and land degradation and mitigating the effects of Climate Change in the 11 frontline states of Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Bauchi, Gombe, and Adamawa.

Other achievements under the period in the review include the establishment of shelterbelts, woodlots, orchards, and most recently institutional planting, social forestry, farm forestry, marketable gardens, and large-scale restoration of degraded land to ameliorate the challenges of the environment in the affected communities.

To that effect, the agency has introduced strategies techniques, and/or approaches to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Great Green Wall afforestation and reforestation programmes such as seedling enhancement and tree survival rate.

Others are the improvement of soil retention capacity, improvement of soil fertility, and an increase in vegetation cover – a programme that is known as the “Half Moon and Zai” methods of planting.

The NAGGW has also provided job opportunities for young people and women in rural communities by training them on sustainable land management techniques while supporting them to establish tree nurseries, forest plantations, and other skills to improve their living conditions.

The initiative led to the formation of the NAGGW Youth Volunteer Programme (NYVP), aimed at creating an amicable networking space for youths in different states and communities to be engaged in raising awareness, sensitisation and assuming different responsibilities towards implementation of the vision of GGWI which has over 15,000 youth volunteers duly registered into the programme’s portal – nyvp.ggwnigeria.gov.ng.

In the next few weeks, the volunteers will participate in 5 key activities of Afforestation and Forestation; Alternative Sources of Energy; Jobs and Income Generation; Capacity Building; Public Enlightenment, and Sensitisation.

The agency has equally trained more than 1,367 rural community people which include women and youth in various livelihood activities. They have equally trained about 275 farmers on climate-smart agriculture techniques and skills required during the dry season of farming.

The statement further disclosed that the NAGGW has above all sought and obtained their Governing Council’s approval to establish the Great Green Wall Day which will be held on July 13th, 2023 for the first time and subsequently in the coming years as an effective means of enlightening, sensitising and mobilising the public on the Agency’s mandate.

The Great Green Wall Day will equally promote the Pan Africa Agency of the Great Green Wall initiative and educate Nigerians on the activities of the NAGGW and the benefits of planting trees.

According to the statement, as a way of getting the people’s backing in terms of the NAGGW’s achievements, the DG says they carry them along while advising them to take several measures and techniques for their forest reserves, where they don’t have to cut down all the trees in their farmlands – a technique or process referred to as the “Wood Lord Practice”.

It is without a doubt that for every laudable achievement anywhere and by anyone, there are also challenges. And the DG, NAGGW, says that not everyone understands the land laws; those who engage in certain practices which are destructive to the entire ecosystem like setting the bush on fire to catch small animals instead of them setting traps; those who smoke and throw the remnant along the bush; vandals who deliberately vandalise the structures or steal them and many more challenges are what the agency faces in the course of their work.

The agency appreciated the support they have received from President Muhammadu Buhari, the Honourable Minister for Environment, Mohammed H. Abdullahi; the Honourable Minister of State for Environment, Udi Odum; the Management and the entire staff of the NAGGW; the indigenous, international and financial partners along with Communities of the 11 frontline states, which they look forward to building on such strong relationships in years to come to meet the objectives of the Great Green Wall Initiatives.

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