In a move to bolster environmental conservation efforts, the World Bank has donated 11 Toyota Hilux vehicles to various ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government of Nigeria. These vehicles will play a pivotal role in the monitoring of projects aimed at mitigating environmental degradation and promoting restoration.
This generous donation is part of the World Bank’s commitment to supporting sustainable environmental practices in Nigeria. The vehicles were provided through the World Bank-funded $700 million Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project. The Federal Government serves as the guarantor for this crucial initiative.
Ibrahim Idris, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Environment, personally handed over the keys and documents of the vehicles to the beneficiary MDAs in Abuja. He underscored the importance of these vehicles in ensuring effective monitoring of the bank’s investments in environmental projects.
Idris emphasized the need to address desertification and erosion caused by climate change in Nigeria. ACReSAL primarily focuses on these issues across 19 states and the Federal Capital Territory. The vast geographical scope necessitates the use of vehicles for thorough inspections and project supervision.
The beneficiaries of the donated vehicles encompass various ministries and agencies, including water resources, remote sensing, agriculture, and departments within the Ministry of Environment. This inclusive approach aims to engage all stakeholder agencies involved in ACReSAL’s mission.
Abdulhamid Umar, the National Project Coordinator for ACReSAL, provided insights into the project’s objectives. ACReSAL, with its substantial $700 million investment portfolio, aims to address landscape restoration and degradation resulting from desertification and deforestation triggered by climate change.
Umar revealed that the ACReSAL project, which spans six years, began a year ago. It has already made significant progress in restoring over 2,000 degraded landscapes, benefiting more than 1,900 individuals directly. The project’s mid-year review is expected to demonstrate progress exceeding 60% of its land restoration goals.
The World Bank’s pivotal role as the main investor highlights its commitment to environmental sustainability in Nigeria. The funds provided, although a loan, are guaranteed by the Federal Government and intended for access by 19 Northern states and the Federal Capital Territory. ACReSAL’s mandate is to reclaim one million landscapes by the project’s conclusion.
The project’s presence extends to over 12 states, with ongoing reviews of terms of reference to expedite delivery. States such as Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, and Sokoto, facing the encroachment of the Sahara Desert on their landscapes, have already seen substantial intervention efforts. Other states, including Gombe and Plateau, are also actively addressing landscape challenges.
The donation of these vehicles by the World Bank signifies a crucial step in enhancing Nigeria’s environmental monitoring and restoration capabilities, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change and environmental degradation.