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Presidency To Nigerians: Ask Your Governors, Council Bosses What They Do With Ecological Funds

Garba Shehu

The Presidency has encouraged Nigerians to be in the habit of demanding to know from their state governors and local council chairman how they have been spending the ecological funds being released to them from time to time.
The Presidency insisted that it is the right of citizens to demand the judicious use of the Fund, which is distributed among the three tiers of government from the Federation Account.
“The largest chunk of the Fund goes to the States and Local Governments. Every month, States and Local governments receive 1.4 per cent from the Federation account as Ecological Fund, compared to the Federal government’s share of 1 per cent.
“But whenever there is an emergency from natural or man-made disasters, all you hear is ‘where is Buhari, what is he doing? What happens with the other tiers of government?
“Nigerians, at the state and local governments, should demand transparency and accountability in the management of ecological funds by their Governors and local government chairmen.
“Without accountability by local political leaders, the Federal government would continue to be the scapegoat for the failure of states and local governments to use ecological funds for the purposes they were released.”
Speaking yesterday, Sunday in a Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) audience participation programme, Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, noted that disaster management in the country is gradually being shifted to the Federal Government by other tiers of government which is not suppose to be so.
Garba Shehu however said that Buhari’s administration would continue to ensure the timely release of the Ecological Fund to States to address pressing ecological challenges in their localities.
“The Buhari administration will under no circumstance abandon its humanitarian obligations to alleviate the distress of flood victims. In spite of Nigeria’s technological limitations and the paucity of funds to handle or manage large scale and complex emergencies, the APC administration will leave no stone unturned in offering succour to victims of natural disasters across the country.”
He said that the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation had, in addition, been mandated to step up the provision of relief infrastructure to those in need. [myad]