Friday, May 14, 2021

Nigerian govt approves 247 Ecological Fund projects, completes 160 others

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Rayyan Alhassan
https://dailynigerian.com/author/rayyan/
Rayyan Alhassan is a 30-year-old graduate of Journalism and Mass Communication at Sikkim Manipal University, Ghana. He is the acting Managing Editor at the Daily Nigerian newspaper, a position he has held for the past 3 years. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/RayyanAlhassan, or @Rayyan88 on Twitter.
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The Ecological Fund Office, EFO, says 160 out of 247 projects approved by the Federal Government from 2015 till date, have been completed and handed over to the benefiting communities.

The Permanent Secretary of the agency, Dr Habiba Lawal, disclosed this at the 2020 Annual Media Interactive Session on Tuesday in Abuja.

Mr Lawal said that 45 other projects had also been completed but were waiting for commissioning, while 42 others were at various stages of completion.

“We will make sure that the remaining 42 projects will continue having steady progress. We will as well be committed to the discharge of our mandate within the limit of available resources.

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“With the commitment of Mr President, the Secretary to Government of the Federation, and the hard working management and staff of EFO, we shall ensure that our mandate is delivered in the years ahead.

“Our challenge has been dwindling resources as a result of the crash in the price of crude due to COVID-19 pandemic and three agencies that draw money in different percentages from the ecological fund,’’ she said.

According to her, the National Emergency Management Agency, whose mandate was to manage all emergencies and natural disasters, including ecological disasters draws 20 per cent.

“The National Agency for Great Green Wall whose mandate was to address land degradation, desertification and drought problems in the 11 Northern states also draws five per cent.

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“The North East Development Commission draws10 per cent,” she said.

She said that in spite of these challenges being faced by EFO, the office would continue to work hard to address ecological issues in the country.

The permanent secretary said that the office would put in place reasonable implementation strategies for quick response and intervention to ecological challenges in the country.

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She mentioned the strategies as quarterly request and approval as well as ensuring that every geo-political zone was captured in the approval by the President

The permanent secretary said that EFO had introduced a stakeholders` forum for sensitisation among benefiting communities.

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Mr Lawal added that provision of monitoring templates for project officers, upgrading of the Information Communication Technology office and the introduction of manuals to educate stakeholders were also part of the strategies.

She said that the office was currently in custody of a huge databank of project requests received from all the stakeholders that cut across the six geo-political zones.

She said that the office was an intervention fund set up to address the multifarious ecological challenges in the country.

Mr Lawal said that “the office collates proposed projects for the Federal Government’s intervention and also coordinates the implementation of the projects.”

NAN

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