Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) has demanded the disbursement of the Ecological Funds to tackle environmental challenges across the states.
The request was made yesterday after a closed door meeting with the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, in her office in Abuja.
The Chairman of the NGF and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, led governors of six other states to the meeting with the minister.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, was also at the meeting which dwelt on the management of the ecology fund.
Others at the meeting were the Governors of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha; Kaduna, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai; Osun, Rauf Aregbesola; Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal; Delta, Ifeanyi Okowa; and Katsina, Aminu Masari.
Yari told journalists after meeting that the governors met the minister to request for the disbursement of the fund.
He said most of the states presently face environmental challenges, adding that they cannot continue to wait when there exists a fund that could be used to address the problem.
The South-east, for instance, he ob served, is having the challenge of erosion, while the South-south and the North are battling with the issue of oil spill and desertification respectively.
“We are concerned seriously about the environment. The desertification in the North, South-south oil and gas spill and erosion in the South-east. And we have a lot of funds in the ecology stabilisation funds.
“And those funds are not being discussed at the National Economic Council (NEC). What we discuss at NEC is usually briefing on excess crude account and the Federation Account.
“But this fund is not being discussed at that platform. So, we will like to have this fund every month because those funds are federation funds and we are having so many problems. We need the money.
“Also, there are funds from the foreign intervention in relation to the environment, so we are discussing with the minister of finance and CBN governor on how states can easily access those funds.”
Yari said the states were not asking for fresh bailout, stressing that they were only asking for the disbursement of the fund to address environmental degradation in their respective states.
Yari said most of the states are currently facing environmental challenges and as such cannot continue to wait when there is a fund that could be used to address the problem.
He said for instance, the South-east is having the challenge of erosion, while the South-south and the North are battling with the issue of oil spill and desertification respectively.
He said, “We are concerned seriously about the environment. The desertification in the North, South-south oil and gas spill and erosion in the South-east. And we have a lot of funds in the ecology stabilisation funds.
When asked if the states are also requesting for fresh bailout from the federal government, Yari said there are no such requests.
He said the states are only asking for the disbursement of the fund to address the level of environmental degradation in their respective states.