Senator Bukola Saraki
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The Senate Committee on Environment has threatened to invoke its parliamentary powers to deny the Ministry of Environment and all its agencies financial allocations in the 2013 budget if the Ministry fails to prove how it had utilized previous allocations.
A statement by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Mr. Lawrence Ojabo, said the threat by the Senate was sequel to insufficient records of project execution in the ministry.
Ojabo said the Committee Chairman, Senator Bukola Saraki had directed the Ministry of Environment to go and review its presentations on the 2012 budget performance and return at a future date.
The issue of poor budgetary implementation has been a source of conflict between the Presidency and the National Assembly with the later threatening to invoke impeachment clause if the situation does not improve.
According Saraki, “ the Senate Committee will not hesitate to give zero budgetary allocation to the Ministry or any of its agencies on any on-going or new project if they were not convinced of their capacity to utilize the funds allocated to them in previous years”
In her presentation, the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia assured the Committee that the Ministry’s capital projects will be duly executed and completed.
Mailafia explained that the heavy rain fall, and the ensuing devastating floods this year has posed some challenges to most of the contractors, especially those who were already on site.
She said the Ministry will ensure that there is value for money and that the projects were completed in good time.
She also assured the committee that the Ministry is taking steps to respond to the environmental challenges and ecological problems across the country.