The Minister of Environment, Alhaji Balarabe Abbas Lawal, has solicited the support and partnership with European Union (EU) to assist the ministry on environmental sustainability and operation of 10 new national parks across the country as preparation is on top gear for the smooth takeoff of the new parks to boost revenue profile, create jobs and attract tourism potentials to the country.
The minister disclosed this when he received delegations from EU countries led by Amb. Samuela Isopi, in his office, Abuja.
Balarabe appreciated the EU for the project as well as the huge support enjoyed by the two national parks in Gashaka and Gumti Park in Taraba and Cross River states.
He appealed to the EU to extend more support to other national parks as well.
He further said Nigeria would collaborate with the EU in combating insecurity challenges such as porches, loggers and banditry that are causing economic damage in the country.
”There is need to address issues of parks with proper legislation and enforcement which Nigeria can count on EU for their full support,” he said.
He further stated: “Ministry is bringing back the state of Nigeria environment, which is the study of the entire country’s location by location to keep pictures of the entire environment of Nigeria.”
Earlier in her speech, the leader of the EU ambassadors, Samuela Isopi, had commended the minister for the warm reception accorded to them as she pointed out that the EU sees Nigeria as a key player on Global Climate Action Plan.
She said: “EU will continue to support Nigeria National Parks to the tune of €5 million.
“Cross River state park remains the largest rain forest in Nigeria”, adding, that the ministry has recruited over 200 rangers, agents and locals that have received special training to ensure security of the park.
She said the EU is also addressing post-COP28 issues, plastic recycling , energy transition, regulation on food security and dissemination of information and capacity building among others.