By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mrs Ibukun Odusote has said the future looks very gloomy for Nigerian forests due to the over-exploitation of economic trees and other vital forests resources.
Odusote stated this in Abuja yesterday on the occasion of the “2019 International Day of Forests.”
This was contained in a statement signed by Director Press Saghir El Mohammed which said she noted that this year’s celebration – “Forests and Education” as well as its slogan “Learn to Love our Forests” clearly re-inforces the need to educate ourselves on the importance of the forests and learn how to appreciate and use them for our benefits as well the benefits of the unborn generation.
“In line with the theme, the choice of this venue ( Cyprian Ekwensi Centre For Arts and Culture, Abuja) named after one of Nigeria’s renowned lovers of arts and culture further creates an opportunity for us to re-learn about our National Flower, the Yellow Trumpet (Costus spectabilis).
“Of all our national treasures, I dare say that this is the most unrecognized and most misrepresented. This yellow flower has been consistently wrongfully represented as red in some of our Coat of Arms.
“Worst still, the plant that used to be ubiquitous and can be found virtually in every part of the country – which is the reason it was chosen as our national flower besides its multiple use – is now endangered and can only be found as relics in very few areas,” she added.
Mrs. Odusote, further stated that her Ministry has structured this year’s presentation to focus on reminding us of the likelihood of losing our indigenous and iconic plant species if we continue to treat our forests resources as what we would have in perpetuity, if no conscious effort is made to use them sustainably.