INTEGRATED TRAINING WORKSHOP ON ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, POVERTY ALLEVIATION AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES
BRIEF REMARK BY THE CHAIRMAN AFRICA RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (ARADA) DR. SULE BELLO, AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE WORKSHOP TITLED “INTEGRATED TRAINING WORKSHOP ON ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, POVERTY ALLEVIATION AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES” HELD AT BAUCHI, PROF. IYA ABUBAKAR CONFERENCE CENTRE, 7TH – 9TH OF MAY 2013
His Excellency The Executive Governor of Bauchi State Mal. Yisa Yuguda,
The Hon. Commissioner Ministry for Local Government Affairs,
Members of Bauchi State Executive Council,
Local Government Chairmen
Officials and Resource Persons, ARADA
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Let me start by offering our thanks to Almighty Allah for making this occasion possible. In addition we pray for his continued guidance and blessings in all that we undertake here today, and henceforth.
Let me also, on behalf of myself and all those associated with African Research and Development Agency (ARADA) in general, and ARADA Forestry Resource Group (AFRG) in particular, express our profound gratitude to the Government and people of Bauchi State for giving us the opportunity to participate in the great developmental strides currently going on in the state.
The workshop we are about to witness is a concerted effort at hitting three birds with one stone. It is aimed at promoting environmental protection against desertification and its associated ills. Secondly it is also designed to sensitize, mobilize, energize and synergize the community towards the effective utilization of plant, or botanic, resources. These could be for wealth creation and the promotion of health generally for the benefit of the community and the well being of those engaged in the sector: in the form of plantation agriculture, agro forestry, community forestry, land scaping, shelter bets, woodlots and other related afforestation projects. Finally the project is designed to feed into the general framework of global, and regional, economic development programmes by serving as an important base station for promoting diversification and specialization in the agricultural sector, as well as serving to stimulate the development of agro-allied industries.
It is well known that plant resources provide the basis for a diverse range of agricultural practices which provide such essential products as food, raw material, fodder as well as medicines for the treatment of diseases. Their expansion and development also offers a great potential for the modernization and stabilization of the pastoral nature of our livestock production practices, in addition to providing fuel and construction material.
Modern research is also proving that our plant resources such as Dinya, Kuka, Zogale Rama, Bini-da Zagu, Gurjiya etc. also constitute the richest sources not only of nutrients, and medicinal extracts, but also industrial raw material, as well as renewable sources for fuel.
In addition to the above these resources also remain the most important opportunities for the multiplication of the incomes of our agricultural population as well as ensuring the protection and rehabilitation, of our environment.
We hope that such workshops would be emulated by other states and further be developed into various practical projects by Bauchi State in a way that would help towards changing the fortunes of our peoples and the states.
Your Excellency it is my pleasure to inform you that the Arada Forestry Resource Group (AFRG) is made up of the most experienced foresters and research specialists in botanical studies, from the Northern States of Nigeria. They are associated with virtually all the afforestation programmes and gardens, of both exotic and indigenous varieties, that exist in our various states today.
They also are, in their independent capacities, associated with many local initiatives as well as national and international projects in this field. We look forward to a successful workshop and a also lasting relationship with the government and people of Bauchi State.
May Allah continue to bless our efforts as well as ensuring our safety and prosperity. I wish you all Journey mercies and safe return to your respective destinations. Thank you for listening.
Africa Research and Development Agency (ARADA)
6th May, 2013