How Do Governors And LG Chairmen Spend Ecological Fund?
‘‘Whenever there is an emergency from natural or man-made disasters, all you hear is ‘where is Buhari, what is he doing?" the Presidency says.
A spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, wants Nigerians to change whom the questions should be directed at.
The Ecological Fund is meant to cater for incidents of flooding and the 3 tiers of government get a share of these funds, but Mr Shehu wonders why State and Local Council authorities have been left out of the question.
Giving a breakdown of how this fund is shared, Mr Shehu said: ‘‘The largest chunk of the Fund goes to the States and Local Governments. Every month, States and Local Governments receive 1.4% from the Federation account as Ecological Fund, compared to the Federal Government’s share of 1%.
‘‘From the 1% the Federal Government gets, NEMA [National Emergency Management Agency] takes 205 for its operation".
He wondered why disaster management in Nigeria was gradually being ceded to the Federal Government by other tiers of the government.
‘‘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?”
'Demand For Transparency'
The presidential aide then advised Nigerians at the state and local government levels to always demand for 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,’’ he said.
The spokesman for the President, who spoke at an audience participation programme on FRCN Kaduna, entitled: 'Hannu Da Yawa’, said despite the paucity of funds to manage large scale and complex emergencies, President Buhari’s administration would ensure the timely release of the Ecological Fund to States to address pressing ecological challenges.
One state that is feeling the harsh effect of climate change is Benue and over 100,000 persons have been displaced.
It was a little shocking when the state government immediately asked the Federal government to come to its aid when the flood disaster occurred.
One will wonder if the state had used up the ecological fund they have received since the year began.
The Federal government had on August 31, directed the National Emergency Management Agency to immediately mobilise personnel and resources to come to the aid of victims.