The Ministry of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar has said Nigeria is faced with rapid desert encroachment affecting about 15 northern states with over 40 million people.
He said in Nigeria, the problem continued to degrade land resources which provide livelihoods to majority of the rural populace with the ugly consequences of resource use conflicts, hunger, social vices and abject poverty in the affected areas.
Abubakar stated this in Abuja on Thursday during an event to mark the 2021 World Desertification and Drought Day with the theme 'Restoration. Land. Recovery.'
He said the affected states were home to over 95 percent of livestock population in Nigeria and had played a major role in the production of food for domestic consumption and export crops.
The minister said the Federal Government was not oblivious of these environmental issues and their impacts but was committed to addressing them to ensure sustainable development and livelihoods of the people in the affected communities."