The Federal Capital Territory Administration has prohibited cutting of trees planted in private compounds without seeking permission from the government.
In a statement made by the Department of Parks and Recreation on Monday and disclosed on the official Twitter handle of the FCTA, residents of Abuja have been warned that whoever is caught cutting down grown up trees, both in private compounds and public places will pay a fine of ₦100,000.
According to Director of the Department, Hajia Riskatu Abdulazeez,, trees planted in private houses have grown up, it has become a public property that requires the permission of the government before it can be removed.
Hajia stressed that government was making efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change on the city and won’t allow reckless actions that can further endanger life.
She further explained that, after any tree is cut down with permission of Department, it is also mandatory that two trees are planted as replacement for each tree removed, adding that, estate developers who remove trees to pave ways for their projects are also compelled by laws to pay and replant trees.
“Cutting down of trees is not allowed in the city, we have a penalty. The policy stipulates that if you plant a tree in your compound, once it is grown up, it is no more your tree, it has become a public property.
“Before such trees are cut down, the permission of the Department of Parks and Recreation must be sought. Anyone who cuts a tree illegally, depending on the size and age of the tree, such person will pay a fine of ₦100,000 per tree and will also be compelled to plant a minimum of two trees as replacement.
“Even when permission is granted for anyone to legally remove trees, such tress must be replaced with two trees and if there is no space within the place where the trees were removed, the Department will provide a place where the trees can planted.
“We don’t plant trees for environmental protection alone, but for beautification and aesthetic appeal. Trees in general have enormous benefits and importance for human beings. The oxygen we breathe is from the trees, we breathe out carbon dioxide which the trees use to live.
“Apart from the life the trees give us, it also douse noise, reduces glare and mitigate the effects of climate change. We are all feeling the effect of climate change; it is attributed to the rate at which we cut down trees, leading to deforestation,” she said.