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27 states ‘shun’ Ecological Funds probe

Twenty seven states yesterday shunned the invitation of the panel set up by the Public Complaints Commission to probe the Ecological Funds. They are Kano,…

Twenty seven states yesterday shunned the invitation of the panel set up by the Public Complaints Commission to probe the Ecological Funds.

They are Kano, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nassarawa, Niger, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Zamfara, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Abia, Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe and Imo.

The panel named ‘Case Conference on Ecological Funding’ is chaired by the Federal Commissioner representing Ekiti, Olukayode Bamisile.

The case conferences, with the representatives of the governors, were held from July 31 to August 16.

From January 2020 to September 2022, a total of N177.8bn was shared to states and local governments. The former received N96.8bn; and the latter, N81bn.

“The investigation is not a witch-hunting exercise but a fact finding mission on the utilization of the Ecological Funds by state governments following the plethora of complaints received by the commission from members of the public facing numerous ecological challenges like deforestation, desertification, erosion, flooding, etc,” Bamisile said.

The PCC committee in its report, sighted by our correspondent, expressed concerns that stakeholders in the Ecological Funds value chain were not operating on the same page.

It said while the citizens were complaining of low or no  impact of the Ecological Funds in communities, state governors appeared to be operating in their comfort zones as no such agitation had been raised by them concerning the Fund.

The report also said “There were discrepancies in the figures quoted by the state representatives from the records of receipts as inflows from the Ecological Fund disbursed to them with the figures obtained by the committee at the Office of the  Accountant-General of the Federation.”

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