Lagos government plans to establish orchards in 20 secondary schools

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Lagos State Government has announced plan to establish fruit orchards in 20 secondary schools across the state to promote the culture of tree planting and re-greening the environment in students and youths.

The state’s Acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, who disclosed this at the weekend, said that the planting of fruit trees in selected secondary schools was to encourage students to become healthy, productive and environmentally-sound.

Olusanya emphasised the importance of tree planting, especially in a coastal city as Lagos, saying that the exercise would contribute in no small measures to the transformation of Lagos into a greener, healthier, safer and orderly state while producing youths who are environmentally-conscious

“The governor’s policy of fast-tracking the development of Lagos State is hinged on the THEMES agenda. Part of this is to engage the youths, particularly students, so that they can become healthy, productive and environmentally-sound. In this regard, the Ministry of Agriculture is establishing fruit orchards in 20 secondary schools in the three senatorial districts in the state,” Olusanya said.

According to her, this exercise would further encourage fruit consumption in students which is important for the provision of micronutrients to the body as these food items are a rich source of vitamins and minerals required for the growth, development and normal functioning of the human body.

Olusanya listed the affected schools as Yewa Junior High School, Agege; Vetland Grammar School, Orile-Agege; Lagos State Senior Model College, Igbookuta; Oriwu Junior Model College, Ikorodu; Community Senior Secondary School, Bayeku; Agufoye Girls’ Model College, Bayeku; Pobuna Secondary School, Poka, Noforija, Epe; St. Patrick Secondary School, Odo-Iragushi; Ibeju Senior High, Ibeju; King Ado High School, Lagos Island and Ansarudeen Grammar School, Surulere.

Others are Nawardeen Senior High School, Ebute-Metta; United Christian Secondary School, Apapa; Jubril Martin High School, Iponri; Badagry Grammar School, Badagry; Awori Senior College, Ojo; Agidingbi Grammar School, Ikeja; Estate Senior Grammar School, Mushin; Eko Boys High School, Mushin and Oshodi High School, Oshodi.

She stated that the students of the selected schools would further be engaged to set up nurseries, tree planting and other conservation activities which would encourage their involvement and participation in agricultural practices as well as environmental education.

The acting commissioner pointed out that apart from the agricultural gains of the fruit tree planting, students would be taught the importance of plants and trees in sustaining the environment as tree planting is one of the most reliable and cheapest means of combating the effect of global warming and climate change.

Olusanya added that tree planting is also very important for the environment as it provides oxygen, cools the atmosphere, helps to conserve energy, saves water, prevents erosion, saves children from ultra-violet rays and provides food, which are sources of vitamins.

She, therefore, stressed the need for every community in Lagos State and indeed the country to adopt tree planting exercise as top priority.

Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been commended for taking appropriate steps that will not only protect the environment against the vagaries of nature and from anthropogenic causes of degradation, but which will also enhance the overall aesthetics of the state.

This was the view of Emmanuel Ajufo, President, Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN), while presenting 100 units of branded safety vests to the Lagos State Parks & Gardens Regulatory Agency (LASPARK).

Ajufo, who was accompanied by the association’s Vice President, Femi Ogala and General Manager, Chiddy Ibiam, said that the decision of OAAN to present the gift was informed by the conviction of the Executive Council to identify with and support both the agency and the government of Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the determination to keep the environment in proper shape and safe for all the residents of the state.

General Manager of LASPARK, Adetoun Popoola, who spoke while receiving the OAAN President, expressed the agency’s appreciation and commended the association for the gift which she described as being of utmost importance to the agency.

Popoola promised that the items would be put to good use, and urged other organisations, especially those in the private sector, to support the governor’s desire to make Lagos State both aesthetically fulfilling and safe for all residents.

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