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Monday, June 24, 2024

Reps to investigate operations of Ecological Fund

The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the total consolidated mandatory accruals into the Ecological Fund from 2010 to March 2022.

House of Representatives
The Nigerian House of Representatives in session

The resolution was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Femi Bamisile (APC-Ekiti) at plenary on Thursday, June 23, 2022.

Moving the motion earlier, Bamisile said the Ecological Fund was an intervention fund set up by the Federal Government to address multifarious ecological challenges across the country.

He explained that the Federal Government, the 36 states, the 774 Local Government Areas and the Federal Capital Territory, received funds through the Federal Allocation Committee (FAC) as shares from the Ecological Fund

He said that apart from the annual statutory appropriations, four federal agencies draw funds from the one per cent share of the Federal Government allocated to Ecology and Derivation Fund according to their respective enabling laws.

“The agencies are the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) by virtue of Section 13(2) (b) of its Act, draws 20 per cent.

“National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW) by virtue of Section 12 (2) (b) of its Act, draws 15 per cent while the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) by virtue of Section 14(12) (b) of its Act, draws 10 per cent.

“Also, the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) by virtue of Section 18 (2) (a) of its Act, draws 10 per cent.

“Efforts at making beneficiaries of the Ecological Fund accountable for their accrued shared funds in the last few years have been ignored.

“Sections 88 and 89 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) empowers the National Assembly to conduct investigation and power as to matters of evidence,” he said.

The house mandated the Committee on Ecological Fund to Investigate and evaluate the disbursement of the Ecological Fund in line with the provision of the 1999 Constitution from 2010 to March 2022.

The committee was also to investigate the utilisation of the Ecological Fund by benefiting agencies of governments and establish infractions if any.

In his ruling, the Speaker of the house, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, mandated the committee to conduct Public Hearings with all major stakeholders on the effective and efficient utilisation of the Ecological Fund and report back within six weeks for further legislative action.

By EricJames Ochigbo

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