The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) through its Department of Parks and Recreation over the years weekend hinted that felling trees attract a fine of one hundred thousand Naira (N100,000) per tree.
The Director of the Department,Hajia Riskatu Abdulazeez gave this hint during a tour of some sites where blossoming flamboyant trees are planted within the city centre, over the weekend.
While adding that trees are not just planted for environmental protection alone, but for beautification and aesthetic appeal.
According to her, it is an offence for residents to cut down trees planted in both private and public compounds without seeking permission from FCT Administration.
She, therefore, said that anyone caught cutting down grown up trees both in private compound and in public places will pay a fine of N100,000 per tree.
Abdulazeez , however, noted that once trees planted in private houses have grown, it has become a public property that requires the permission of government before it can be removed.
She further stated that, after any tree is cut down with the permission of the Department, it is also mandatory that two trees are planted as replacement for each tree removed.
She further explained that even estate developers who remove public trees to pave ways for their projects, are also compelled by laws to pay and replant the trees.
According to her, ” 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, 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 down tree illegaly, depending on the size and age of the tree , such person will pay a fine of N100,000 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 trees 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 be planted.
” As for the housing developers who have been cutting down trees to pave ways for their construction, most of them apply for permission to remove trees and they are also made to pay before removing the trees”, Abdulazeez added.
She further stated 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.
” Trees in general has enormous benefits and importance for human being. The oxygen we breath is from the trees, we breath out carbon dioxide which the trees use to live.
” Apart from the life the trees give us, it also douses noise it reduces glare and mitigates the effects of climate change. We are all feeling the effects of climate change , it is attributed to the rate at which we cut down trees, leading to deforestation.
Abdulazeez noted that nature has made human being to be dependent on trees for oxygen while the trees also depend on human being for carbon dioxide.