Prof. Ben Ayade, Cross River State Gov. on Tuesday, disclosed that the state would budget N500 million for the “Cross River Green Carnival in 2020”.
Ayade made the disclosure at the 2019 Green Carnival with the theme: “Calabar Green Canopy Scheme” on Tuesday in Calabar.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Cross River Green Carnival is an annual event that is usually held annually in December.
This is the first time the event will be held in July and part of the event is the 2019 carnival and planting of one million trees in the 18 local government areas of the State.
The governor said that the state had earlier budgeted N100 million for the 2019 event.
He said that the state planned to increase the budgetary allocation for the carnival in 2020 because of its importance as a business venture.
“I know you look at this as a carnival, but I look at it like a business because by next year, every young resident of Cross River is expected to have a small nursery because they know the carnival is coming and we will need the trees.
“We had to go to all the nursery farms from Benue to Abia, to be able to get the number of seedlings we have here today.
“So if you know you are interested in making money out of that N500 million, you better start owning your own nursery, so that we can come to you and buy.
“As young people you have the opportunity to do business with the state,” he said.
According to him, the active cultivation of young trees is very critical for carbon dioxide assimilation and makes Cross River, the head quarters of the absorption of the deadly gas in the atmosphere.
Ayade said that with the planting of one million trees, the state could go before the international community and Federal Government to ask for Green Bond for a financial reward.
“You must note that Cross River has over 58 per cent of the entire forest cover of the country and our plan is to achieve 68 per cent. So we can go to the international community and ask for a Green Bond.
“We will tell the world that we are indeed planting one million trees as a justification to support the deforestation process for construction of the super highway and industrial farms that are yet to come.
“You cannot create a farm without causing deforestation,” he said.
Similarly, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, Gov. of Abia, who was a guest at the carnival, said each time he came to Cross River, he learnt something new.
He said that planting a million trees would once again put Cross River and Nigeria in the world map, adding that Nigeria should be marketed from the window of Cross River.
He however added that Abia would be coming to purchase rice seedlings from the Cross River Rice Seedling Plant to enhance rice production in Bende LGA of Abia.
The Chairman of the Green Carnival committee, Mrs Alice Ekwu, said that the Green Carnival was all about planting trees.
Ekwu said 2000 trees would be planted during the carnival but the process would be continuous until a million trees were planted.
She thanked the governor for creating a Ministry of Climate Change and Forestry that took care of trending issues of global warming. (NAN)
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— The Paradise News (@TheParadiseNg) July 30, 2019