Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) has partnered ATC Nigeria, owners and operators of telecommunications services, to plant trees at the Pan Atlantic University (PAU), Ibeju-Lekki, a suburb of Lagos.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ATC Nigeria, Mr Errol Ambler- Smith said that tree planting was one of the initiatives taken by the company to give back to the society.
Amber-Smith said that the goal is to ensure that we live in a sustainable environment.
“We are a company with a very strong social conscience. And one of the initiatives that we use in terms of our sustainability programme is planting of trees”
“In 2022 we kicked off the programme and planted in excess of 9800 trees throughout Nigeria and we are looking to expand that this year to plant in excess of 12,000 trees,” Amber-Smith said.
The CEO said that as a company that owns and operates nearly 8000 telecommunication masts throughout Nigeria, they take the issues of environmental sustainability very seriously.
To buttress the importance of environmental sustainability to ATCN, the CEO said:
“We have reduced the average generator runtime on our sites from 21 hours to about eight hours through the deployment of solar systems with lithium batteries,” Amber-Smith said.
Also speaking, the Director- General of the NCF, Dr Joseph Onoja said that the foundation was partnering with ATC Nigeria to plant 500 trees at the PAU.
Represented by Ms Folake Salawu, NCF, Green Recovery Nigeria Programme Coordinator, Onoja said that the tree planting exercise is part of a country wide tree planting activity supported by ATC Nigeria.
Onoja said that in partnership with ATC Nigeria, the foundation would be planting 12,000 trees across nine states in five geopolitical zones in 2023.
He listed the states to include Lagos, Ogun, Rivers, Benue, Plateau, Gombe, Yobe, Kano and the FCT, Abuja.
According to him, the tree planting programme supports the Green Recovery Nigeria(GRN) project of the foundation.
The aim of the GRN projects is to increase the forest cover in Nigeria to at least 25 per cent of the total landmass by 2047.
“This is in line with the Paris agreements,” Onoja said.
For Dr. Peter Bankole, Chief Operation Officer, PAU, the University embarked on tree planting in the school to preserve some of the species of the tree from extinction.
Bankole said that some of the undergraduate students have not seen some of the trees before in their lifetime.
He added that the trees also serve to increase carbon footprints.
The COO also said that the trees also houses the nests of the birds found around the school.