The law and policy on curbing desertification in Nigeria: A contemporary discourse

  • A. E. Abuza Delta State University, Abraka (Oleh Campus), Nigeria


The Nigerian Government has enacted laws and taken other measures to curb desertification in Nigeria. This article undertakes a contemporary discourse of the law and policy on curbing
desertification in Nigeria. The research methodology adopted is mainly doctrinal analysis of applicable primary and secondary sources. The author is of the view that governmental efforts to
curb desertification, as represented by these measures, have not yielded the desired results, as desertification continues unabated in Nigeria. This is basically due to the ineffectiveness of these
measures. The ineffectiveness of measures taken by the Nigerian Government on desertification control can be attributed to, among other factors, lack of adequate implementation or enforcement of laws on desertification control, lack of community ownership of land in Nigeria, lack of involvement of rural communities in policy formulation and implementation and focus on tree planting as a
strategy to tackle the desertification scourge. It is concluded that for the threat of desertification in the country to be effectively addressed, the Nigerian Government must, among others, rise
to the challenge of faithfully implementing or enforcing the laws on desertification control, amend the Land Use Act 2004 to give communities ownership of land, except land where mineral deposits
and oil are found, adopt the bottom-up approach in policy-making and implementation of desertification control measures, thus involving local communities and other stakeholders and embrace
the planting of shrub plants as an alternative or complement to the current focus on trees alone in line with the practice in other countries such as China, the United States of America (USA),
Australia and New Zealand.


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