Association decries conditional approval for C/River Super Highway project

The Forestry Association of Nigeria (FAN) on Monday expressed concern over the conditional approval given for the construction of the Cross River Super Highway project.

The President of the association, Prof. Labode Popoola, made the remark in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

Popoola said that there was no way the forest reserve would not give way for the project.

“Unfortunately, that is not the best way for this country. Globally, those who know the implication of this decision protested it, but then, governments are so powerful,’’ he said.

Popoola said that it had been on record that the ecosystem of the nation’s forests had been badly damaged over the years.

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He said that the capacity of Nigeria’s forest estates was below 5 per cent, while 25 per cent forest reserves were being canvassed globally.

According to him, the construction of the super highway along that axis will further reduce the percentage of Nigeria’s forest estates.

“Our environment will be in peril and the costs of endangering our environment will far outweigh the immediate benefits of construction of the Super highway,’’ he said.

Popoola said that Nigeria needed to put in place strategies that would lead to the recovery of the nation’s lost forests.

He said that it would take a lot of political will on the part of governments for this to be achieved.

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NAN reports that the Federal Ministry of Environment gave conditional approval for the construction of the Cross River super highway project in June.

The project would be a-270km road from Cross River to Katsina Ala in Benue State.

However, the conditional approval means that there are certain criteria the State Government will meet before work would commence on the project.

NAN reports that the conditional approval also meant that the state government would need to do an Environment Impact Specimen for the super Highway project.

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