By Kehinde Akinpelu, Ilorin
Scientists under the aegis of Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN)
has painted a grim picture on the level of land degradation in
The society said that the current level of land degradation in the
country stands at about 60 percent arable lands and 30 percent forest.
President of SSN Prof Bashiru D Raji told reporters in Ilorin, the
Kwara state capital ahead of this year’s World Soil Day.
Prof Raji added that under the Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting Programme (LDN TSP) a princely sum of N194 billion is needed to restore the degraded lands by 2030 to the pre-2015 scenario.
SSSN president hailed the Federal Government “for the giant and
visible strides and gains in the agricultural sector in the last four and half years,” adding that “for these gains to be sustained and for the attainment of seven sustainable development goals (SDGs) the FG needs to keep faith with the action plans of LDN TSP.”
Said he: “The government should also consider re-establishing the
moribund National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) to
scientifically coordinate the ongoing land development under the
agricultural transformation agenda; existing regulatory policies like
the National Erosion and Flood Control Policy,Nigeria’s Agricultural Promotion Policy 2016-2020, Great Green Wall and National Economic Recovery Growth Plan 2017-2020 should be leveraged upon to accelerate restoration of degraded lands and prevent future occurrence.
“The SSSN will through the Nigerian Institute of Soil Science evolve a
national soil policy for the sustainable exploitation of the country’s soil resources
“The society is ready to partner with non governmental organizations
(NGOs) and community based organizations (CBOs) to create awareness among the public on the effect of unsustainable use and misuse of the fragile ecosystems as they affect the capacity of the soil to render valuable ecosystem services like food security, groundwater purification, waste disposal,climate change mitigation among others.”
The soil scientists attributed incessant failure of road in the
country to dearth of laboratories and non deployment of indigenous
soil scientists by foreign construction companies.
Prof Raji attributed the short lifespan of some highways in the
country to failure of monitoring and management and not that of