Over100m Nigerians threathened by desertification, deforestation- Former governor


A former Governor of Imo, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, says over 100 million or 50 per cent of Nigerians are directly or indirectly threathened by desertification, deforestation and erosion. Ohakim who made this known in a paper he delivered at the 2019 Public Service Lecture said that  the annual rate of deforestation in Nigeria stood approximately at four per cent or about 400,000 hectares to 450,000 hectares.

According to him, out of 909.890km2 of the country’s land area, about 600,000km2 or 65.94 per cent of the total land area had been lost to desert encroachment.

The former governor said that leadership transcended politics, adding that Nigerians must take serious acount of leadership at the family, community, church, institutions and organisational levels, ‘otherwise those at the helm of affairs would excape scrutiny’.

He described leadership as the ability to inspire change and make a paradigm shift, urging  that leadership must move a people or an organisation to the next level.

According to him, a leader must be a man of courage and convinction if he must change the status quo, as well as be visionary to effect  the desired change.

Ohakim added that leadership was essentially a selfless enterprise that often attracted  a heavy price.

The Chairman of the occasion, Mr  Mike Okiro,  a former Inspector-General of Police, represented by Amb. Pascal Asor, hailed the alumni association for the programme.

He urged the members of the  association  to live up to people’s expectations by bringing their wealth of experience to bear on the development of the country.

The Chairman of the state branch of the alumni association, Mr. Richmond Amaechi, noted that the lecture was the second edition.