By: Wisdom Acka
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has expressed its commitment to implementing the 2019 FCT Park Policy, which provides for Green/Garden City concept for the FCT.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration, Mr. Olusade Adesola, said this at an event organised to commemorate the 2023 World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought in Asokoro District, Abuja.
According to him, the Policy has reinforced plans for dedication of 33 percent of the Territory’s land to parks, green areas and open Spaces in consonance with the provision in the Abuja Master Plan.
He pointed out that desertification and drought has continued to bring about numerous challenges, including conflicts in Africa and other parts of the world that needs to be hence the tackled head on.
His words: “It is worthy of note that desertification and drought are associated with challenges such as reduced global food production, increase in hunger, disease and malnutrition, which has led to global conflicts and crisis.”
“It is no secret that a lot of conflicts on the African continent and other parts of the world have been linked to desertification and drought occasioned by climate change and unwholesome human activities, forcing populations to continuously migrate in search of greener pastures at other locations with resultant conflict with original inhabitants as frequently witnessed in many parts of Nigeria”, Adesola remarked.
Stressing the need to confront challenges of desertification and drought, the Permanent Secretary commended governments around the world for realising it and taking measures towards reducing it.
Commenting on this year’s commemoration theme: “Her Land, Her Rights,” Adesola stated that it was timely and “underscored the fundamental importance of security and empowering women’s rights to land”.
The Permanent Secretary spoke against “dsignificant barriers that impede their access to and control over land” and regretted that such practice hinders their potential in contributing fully to the achievement of gender equity and economic growth”.
He added, giving women access rights to land would better position them to make sustainable land management decisions, promote agricultural productivity, and enhance the resilience of communities in the face of climate change.
“When women have access to land, it leads to improved access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities for themselves and their families. It will strengthen the social fabric of communities and foster more inclusive and equitable societies”, the Permanent Secretary emphasized.
Adesola, therefore, renewed FCTA commitment to positively empowering women and improving their access to land; stressing, “Let us acknowledge that gender equality is not only a moral imperative but also an essential driver of sustainable development”.
Recall that June 17th was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly resolution on January 30th, 1995 to raise awareness on the prevalence of desertification and drought.