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Flood Disaster Gulps N25bn Ecological Funds

04 Dec 2012

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Flood menace

Onwuka Nzeshi

The Federal Government  Monday said it had deployed about N25 billion of the Ecological Funds to tackle  the recent flood disaster that ravaged several parts of the country.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, stated this  during a meeting with the House Committee on Environment.

Anyim said the sum was part of the intervention funds which government used to ameliorate the sufferings of the victims of the flood  in the impacted  states.

Responding, House Committee on Environment, Hon. Uche  Ekwunife, said the deployment of the said funds was appropriate as  the Ecological Fund  was actually  meant to address the ecological problems facing the  various states in  the country.

Ekwunife, however, expressed some reservations  with the application of the Ecological  Funds in the  respective states. She disclosed that in the course of the  committee’s  oversight functions, the lawmakers encountered scores of abandoned projects.

The investigation of the application of the funds became imperative following  a motion  on the floor of the House on Thursday, November 15, 2012 on the Ecological Funds Projects.

The procurement process  on  17 of the projects was said to have  commenced since 2006 and  still ongoing  six years after they were first advertised.

“We are concerned that the ongoing process may have contravened provisions of the Public Procurement Act 2007 and  due diligence may not have been carried out before the said projects recently found their way to the office of the SGF and the Minister of Environment for signing.

“It is the opinion of the committee that the ongoing process has become  moribund but time bared because ecological problems progress with changing years and weather and as such are time sensitive,” Ekwunife said.

In response to the issues raised,  Anyim said that the main problem with  the ecological funds was that at the time it was created it was not properly streamlined. He expressed  concern that projects were abandoned and charged states that initiated or requested for projects to  monitor them appropriately.
According to him, states have their own allocation of the funds and should stop heaping all the blame on the Federal Government.
He said  there was  need to review the projects that were suspected to have breached the Procurement Act.

Tags: News, Nigeria, Featured, Flood Disaster, N25bn, ecological funds

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