To ensure environmental sustainability, Sahara Group, Egbin Power Plc, and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) have collaborated to build a nature reserve in Ikorodu.
According to Ejiro Gray, Director of Governance and Sustainability at Sahara Group, the reserve will function as both a sanctuary for animals and plants and a carbon sink to combat the effects of climate change.
“We are excited at the prospects this partnership holds and the positive impact we expect as Sahara Group continues to lead the charge towards environmental sustainability, especially in Africa where we have our roots. We also see huge prospects for socio-economic benefits through ecotourism, air quality control, and urban heat reduction,” she said.
Gray stated that the proposed nature reserve would focus its activities on four main areas: raising awareness and engaging in advocacy, providing environmental education and resources, serving as an ecotourism destination, and preserving cultural heritage. She noted that it would also be used as a biological research laboratory, a feature that stakeholders believe could lead to the establishment of similar reserves in the sub-region.
“This collaboration will leverage the strengths and expertise of both organizations, including Sahara Group’s experience in promoting sustainable development, its commitment to reducing carbon emissions, and the NCF’s expertise in environmental conservation,” she added.
Dr. Joseph Onoja, the Director General of the NCF, expressed his delight in collaborating with Sahara Group and Egbin Power to protect Nigeria’s biodiversity, use natural resources in a sustainable manner for the present and future generations, and work to reduce pollution and wasteful use of renewable resources.
“Sahara Group has demonstrated commitment to offsetting its carbon footprint through the conservation of an expanse of forest area within Egbin Power Plc facility. This is in line with one of the key goals of NCF’s Green Recovery Nigeria Programme, which aims to increase the forest cover in Nigeria to at least 25% of the total land mass through the management and expansion of protected areas as well as forest landscape restoration. The environment connects us all, and we will continue to build partnerships with stakeholders in the country and globally,” he stated.
On his part, Mokhtar Bounor, CEO of Egbin Power, expressed his pleasure in being a pioneering partner in the preservation of the endemic plants and animals of the region.
“The nature reserve will demonstrate seamless regeneration of the forest as a paradigm shift from afforestation and ultimately help us achieve a sustainable environmental bank for wildlife and plants that would have been displaced during the construction and other activities, ensuring their availability for research and environmental education,” he said.
Egbin Power has planted more than 1,000 trees and implemented electric buggies, scooters, and bicycles, as well as walk-to-work days and other zero-emissions campaigns. It also produces digital publications and other initiatives aimed at raising awareness about environmental sustainability. Additionally, the nature reserve will become a popular ecotourism destination, with the influx of people coming to the area due to the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge and the international airport at Lekki.
(C) Agro Nigeria