The Nigerian Governors Forum has met the Finance minister and CBN Governor over issues relating to the management of the Ecological Fund.
Chairman, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, on Tuesday led six other governors to meet Kemi Adeosun and Godwin Emefiele.
Yari disclosed to newsmen after the meeting that the governors requested the disbursement of the Ecological Fund.
He said that most of the states were currently facing environmental challenges. As such, they could not wait when there was a fund that could be used to address the problems.
“We are concerned seriously about the environment. We have desertification in the North, oil and gas spill in South-South and erosion in the South-East. And we have a lot of money in the Ecological Stabilisation Fund.”
“And those funds are not being discussed at National Economic Council. What we discuss at NEC is usually briefing on the Excess Crude Account and the Federation Account.”
“But these funds are not being discussed at that platform. So, we will like to have these funds 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.”
However, Governor Yari dispelled reports that the states are also requesting for fresh bailout from the Federal Government. He stated emphatically that there was no such requests.
He said the governors were only asking for the disbursement of the Ecological Fund to address the level of environmental degradation in their respective states.
Also present were governors Rochas Okorocha, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Rauf Aregbesola, Aminu Tambuwal, Ifeanyi Okowa and Aminu Masari.
The Ecological Fund
The Ecological fund was started in 1981 to help handle and curb various environmental problems. The problems include soil erosion, flood, drought, desertification, oil spillage, pollution. Others are general environmental pollution, storm, tornadoes, bush fire, crop pest, landslide, earthquakes.
Originally, it received 1% of the Federation Account accrual but was reviewed upwards to 2% 1992. The Fund is under the control of the Federal Government to be disbursed and managed. This will be in accordance with such directives as may be issued from time to time.
According to the table of distribution from the Federation Account Allocation Committee on the website of the Office of the Accountant of the Federation, a total sum of N47.89bn was allocated for the fund in 2014, while 2015 had an allocation of about N60.9bn. This brings the total amount allocated for the Ecology Fund in both years to about N107.79bn.