Senate to probe ministry, states over ecological funds

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Senator Ike Ekeremadu

Senator Ike Ekeremadu

The Senate yesterday resolved to investigate the Ministry of Environment and the various states of the federation over perceived under-utilization of the ecological funds.

The resolution was made during the second reading of a bill seeking an Act to establish the Erosion Control and Prevention Commission and vest it with the responsibility for the prevention, control and management and redress of erosion and for other related purposes, 2012.

Senate Deputy President Ike Ekeremadu berated states for not achieving any result with the ecological funds they had received since 1999, saying it was necessary to investigate how the ecological funds had been spent.

“What has the Enviroment Ministry, through its erosion control department, has done to address the challenge of erosion? What has it done with the funds received so far?” he queried.

Senators Clever Ikisikpo (PDP, Rivers) and Emmanuel Paulker (PDP, Bayelsa Central) said the states had not done anything with the ecological funds released to them annually.

Senate President David Mark chided the states and the unit of the Environment Ministry responsible for erosion control; saying it had also not done well.

He referred the bill to the Committees on Environment and Special Duties for more legislative actions, adding that the various committees should take their oversight functions more seriously to know the performance of government agencies.

The sponsor of the bill, Senator Hope Uzodinma (PDP, Imo West), who put the annual damage cost of erosion at N1trillion, said the commission, if established, would, among other things, formulate policies and guidelines for the prevention, control and management of erosion.

 

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