Sterling Bank Plc says it has concluded plans to carry out tree planting exercises in three states in the northern part of the country.
The lender said the move was part of its corporate social responsibility focus on the environment and in support of the Federal Government?s plan to sustain the environment while reducing desertification.
The lender, in a statement on Monday, said, ?Nigeria is faced with rapid desert encroachment affecting 15 northern states, with varying levels of severity.
?As such, this initiative became imperative as one of the solutions to cushion the effects of desertification. This is also in line with the United Nation?s Sustainable Developmental Goals for environmental preservation, and a way of challenging other private institutions to support the initiative.?
Experts have described desertification as the degradation of dry lands. It involves the loss of biological or economic productivity and complexity in croplands, pastures, and woodlands. It is due mainly to climate variability and unsustainable human activities.
The most commonly cited forms of unsustainable land use are over-cultivation, overgrazing, deforestation, and poor irrigation practices.
Sterling Bank said the governors of the three states, Plateau, Bauchi and Gombe, had confirmed their participation at the events scheduled to hold on Tuesday (today).
The Group Head, Strategy and Communications, Sterling Bank, Mr. Shina Atilola, emphasised the need for the private sector to support the government at all levels to checkmate the challenges posed by desertification in the country.
According to him, statistics have shown that a quarter of the earth?s surface is threatened by desertification.
He added that extensive cultivation, deforestation, overgrazing, cultivation of marginal land and bush burning were the major causes of desertification.
He also spoke on the effects of desertification.
Atilola added, ?Desertification has done a lot of damage to the local communities as it has made farming impossible in the affected areas leading to food shortage and rising cost of food items. Without food and water, it becomes harder for people to thrive.?