By Stanley Onyekwere
Ahead of this year’s farming season, the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has vowed to clamp down on illegal farmers within the Federal Capital Territory’s city centre.
Making this point, Director of AEPB, Mr. Baba Lawan, in a statement issued by the Head of Information and Outreach Programme, Mr. Muktar Ibrahim and made available to our correspondent, said the trend was unacceptable.
The AEPB boss reminded residents of the Territory that, “it is a punishable offence for anyone to grow crops other than vegetables within a built up areas and such other surrounding areas in the Federal Capital City (FCC)”.
Lawan reiterated that all farming activities along the expressways and other major roads are completely banned.
He warned that anyone farming along the length and breath of the Airport road, the Outer Northern Expressway or Kubwa road and any other major routes will be prosecuted and the farm removed without compensation.
According to him, that it has become expedient to apply the strict tenets of the AEPB Act No 10 of 1997, Section 19 and 20 prohibiting farming or rearing of animals within built up areas to the fullest limit to deter would be offenders.
The AEPB boss opined that more importantly, the clampdown will enhance security in the FCT, especially as the May 2019 presidential inauguration draws nearer.
He, therefore, appealed to security agencies and other well meaning Nigerians to ensure that this order is strictly adhere to.
Lawan also stressed that the ban is significant, in order to maintain a befitting and clean environment in FCT as it plays host to a multitude of dignitaries and other visitors who would be gracing the inaugural occasion.
This, he noted will boost the image of the nation’s capital and increase the chances of attracting the needed foreign investment into Nigeria.