Out of nine hundred and twenty three thousand square kilometres of landmass in Nigeria, only about ten percent is protected, hence the need for the Nigerian Army to partner with the National Park Service.
The Director Procurement, Department of Army Standards and Evaluation, Major General Adeyemi Adetayo stated this in Abuja while handing over two brand new Hilux vehicles to the National Park Services.
He said it is important to protect the National Parks especially in this period of insurgency to work hard to flush out any criminal elements that are utilising the reserves and parks to perpetrate evil.
“We have to be very proactive in handling issues of security as it regards National Parks, based on this pro-activeness, we are now collaborating and this is just the beginning of the collaboration. The Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has heeded to the request and promised to donate two vehicles and we are here to give the two vehicles out to the Conservator General of the National Park Services,” Major General Adetayo said.
Lieutenant General Buratai, who was represented by the Chief of Army Standard and Evaluation, Major General Okudili Azita reiterated the army’s commitment to supporting the National Park Service by training the personnel.
“The Chief of Army Staff said I should assure you that all the Nigerian Army Units and Formations that are within the areas where you have parks and Forest Reserves have been put on standby to support you. In the area of training, the training is already ongoing and will continue because training is a continuous process, so these vehicles are just the beginning of the partnership we have with you; please make good use of them and we congratulate you for the job you are doing and wish that these vehicles will help you in further strengthening your jobs of patrolling our parks and games reserves,” he said.
Tackling security challenges
The Conservator General of the National Park Services, Ibadan, Musa Goni, who received the vehicles expressed gratitude to the Chief of Army Staff, for what he described as “commitment of the Nigerian Army to partner with the National Park Services to tackle the current security challenges associated with forest and protected areas in Nigeria.”
“I would like to assure you that the vehicles will be used strictly for patrols to enhance the capacity of park rangers towards effective protection and to improve the level of security in the country sides. It is our fervent prayer that this partnership will be sustained and taken to higher levels in order to promote our collective efforts towards making Nigeria safe by implementing the resolutions of the communiqué issue at the end of our collaborative seminar.”
On April 1 to 6, 2019, the Nigerian Army in collaboration with the national Park Services organised a seminar with the theme: “Enhancing Synergy between the Nigerian Army and National Park Services; National Security Aspect.”
The conference was to develop synergy between the two services in order to deny criminal elements any chance of utilising the parks as hide outs.