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Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai (IBBUL) and Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscape (ACReSAL) have reached an agreement on proper utilisation of University lands for planting of economic trees and Agroforestry, in efforts towards the actualisation of the implementation of sustainable landscape management practices in Northern Nigeria.

This development occurred during a meeting when officials of the agency paid a visit to the University to request IBBUL’s partnership in the first phase of their project of integrated climate-resilient landscape management.

Speaking, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Abu Kasim Adamu appreciated the Agency for choosing IBBUL as one of the partners in the project, stating that the University was interested and assured of readiness for more elaborate discussions on the appropriate land size to be planted.

He said the University has indicated interest and willingness for the partnership, stressing that further discussions would centre on land size, type of seedlings, and choice of those to be planted inside and outside the University campus

Professor Adamu disclosed that with the presence of the cashew processing plant donated by RMRDC in the University, a catalogue of required seedlings was necessary in order to choose early maturing ones.

The Vice Chancellor also expressed the hope that the visit would be the beginning of a new relationship between the organisations, assuring that the University would ensure that farmers would not be displaced, because IBBUL has enough land for the project.

He assured of the University Management’s support and cooperation, stressing that the project would also be a training ground for students and staff.

Earlier, the Leader of the team, Malam Raji Shehu Adam who is an Environmental Safeguard Officer, disclosed that the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscape was a world bank supported, Federal Government initiative to reclaim large-scale degraded water-sheds by planting trees spanning millions of hectares of land in Northern Nigeria within six years.

He said the project cuts across the nineteen Northern States in Nigeria and that the first phase in Niger State (one with the largest landmass) specifically targeted tertiary institutions with a target to plant 200 Hectares of trees.

Malam Shehu Adam further maintained that the first phase of the project in Niger State involved IBB University, Lapai, Federal College of Education, Kontagora, College of Education, Minna and the College of Agriculture, Mokwa

Also speaking, a Natural Resource Officer and State Desk Officer of the project, Hajiya Rabi Maman Lafiya, disclosed that reclaiming the lands should be done in such a way that people, especially farmers, would not be displaced in the process.

She stressed that the selected seedlings by the University be provided, although she was specific that emphasis should be placed on early maturing trees and those that would be of more economic benefit to the community.

In his contribution, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Professor Mohammed Aliyu Paiko, said IBB University, Lapai is the second university to receive from RMRDC, a cashew processing facility in the country.

He said the University is already in partnership with NASPAN on Shea trees planting and also in discussions with RMRDC to plant hectares of Cashew to service the Cashew plant and as such, was a force to reckon with on tree planting in the state.

Professor Paiko said it is very necessary for the University and ACReSAL to sign a memorandum of understanding and put in place a powerful committee for proper harmony and ensure the success of the project.

The Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Professor Danjuma Solomon, expressed delight for the meeting and maintained that IBB University would lead for others to follow when the project commenced.

In a vote of thanks, the Registrar, Alhaji Idris Saleh Kusherki, appreciated the visitors and assured of the University’s continuous collaboration.

He urged ACReSAL to always feel free to consider IBBUL in any such project that would bring economic benefits to the state.