The Conservator-General, National Park Service, Dr Ibrahim Goni, says the Federal Government will take over 10 new parks between November and December 2023.
Goni disclosed this while receiving the nine commissioners from the 10 new national parks on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that the parks could be handed over to the Federal Government between November and December; so that by 2024, they would be included the national budget.
“At the moment, the approved national parks are being gazetted by the Federal Ministry of Justice.
“With the gazetting, it means they have now become full-fledged national parks; we are waiting for the parks to be handed over by the respective state governors to the Federal Government as national parks.”
The conservator-general said that the reason for the meeting was to update the stakeholders on the progress made so far on the handing and taking over of the 10 new national parks by the Federal Government.
“We have held two stakeholders meetings before this time where we discussed the presidential proclamation and the concurrence of the National Assembly.
“Most of the states have told us that they have acquired office accommodations, administrative offices and accommodations for the officers of the parks for the smooth take off of the 10 new parks in their respective states.
“And they have also assured us of the corporation of the communities where these parks are domiciled,” he said.
Goni said that people of the communities had expressed their willingness to support the smooth take off of the parks.
He expressed optimism that the gesture would develop their areas and provide employment opportunities.
Goni listed other benefits to the host communities as security, mitigation of climate change and regeneration would take place to truncate rural migration.
Responding on behalf of the new be commissioners, Dr Nura Kazaure, Commissioner for Environment Jigawa State lauded the Federal Government’s gesture.
“I think this is a very great milestone achievement as long as conservation of wildlife is concerned in the whole of the country.
“It is pertinent to conserve these game reserves because; Jigawa is one of the states that have borders with Niger Republic and so we are faced with desert encroachment.
“It plays a significant role as a barrier in breaking the advancement of deserts towards Jigawa and Bauchi; the communities are going to benefit a lot of things.”
He expressed optimism that all the areas where the parks were situated would experience transformation.
The commissioner said that the state had the challenge of illegal felling of trees and encroachment of the forest.
“We can easily tackle this with the corporation of the community, traditional rulers, religious leaders and the youths around,” he said.
He expressed optimism that there would be a seamless handing over between the state and the Federal Government.