The Director-General of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Dr Mutari Aminu-Kano, says Nigeria is losing about 400,000 hectares of its land to deforestation annually.
Aminu-Kano also stated that Nigeria had many environmental issues to contend with, including having the highest rate of deforestation in the world.
The DG spoke at the 17th Chief S.L Edu Memorial Lecture with the theme, ‘A quiet revolution – Faith and the environment’, in Lagos, on Thursday.
He noted that the facts and figures of environmental degradation in Nigeria were alarming.
According to him, deforestation, which involves the clearing of a forest or trees for other uses, has negative impacts on the environment, including the loss of habitat for millions of animal and plant species.
“Nigeria currently has only four per cent cover, 96 per cent is gone. Nigeria is no longer green, it is now brown. We have facts and figures telling us to do something at the level of the government, religious organisations, communities and as individuals,” he said.
Aminu-Kano noted that the world’s environment was in crisis and Nigeria would not be left out of the challenges, adding that “there are reports that we may have existential problems if we don’t address climate change right now.”
The President, NCF Board of Trustees, Chief Philip Asiodu, said the acceptable global forest cover should be 25 per cent.
He, however, stated that since environmentalists began talking about the need for re-greening the environment, not one hectare of land had been covered in Nigeria.