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Questions Over Nigeria’s Management of N64bn Ecological Funds

Details from the National Bureau of Statistics show that Nigeria’s 36 states received a total of N64.417 billion ($139,581) as ecological funds between 2021 and 2022.

These funds were set aside to mitigate severe ecological problems.

The financial details show that Kano got the highest amount over the period – N3.144 billion.

In the South-East, Enugu received the highest amount, N1.993 billion, in the period under review.

Dataphyte

Anambra got N1.971 billion, while Ebonyi received N1.773 billion. On the other hand, Abia got N1.261 billion whereas Imo was given N1.4 billion.

 

North Central

In the North-Central, Nassarawa received the highest amount of N1.828 billion; Plateau got N1.230 billion, while Kwara was given N1.048 billion. Similarly, Benue got N1.321 billion, whereas Niger was given N1.395 billion.

 

Dataphyte

Lagos State got the highest allocation for ecological funds in the South-West, receiving N2.655 billion within the period. The state is followed by Oyo which received N2.223 billion; Ogun, N1.841 billion; Osun, N1.808 billion; and Ondo, N1.254 billion.

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For the North-East, Borno got N2.463 billion; Bauchi received N2.371 billion, while Yobe was given N1.968 billion. Also, Taraba got N1.909 billion while Gombe received N1.867 billion.

North-West led the list of the states that got the highest ecological funds. Kano was allocated N3.1 billion, the highest amount received by a single state in the country between 2021 and 2022.
Kaduna got N2.6 billion; Katsina was allocated N2.4 billion, while Jigawa received N2.2 billion. Also, Zamfara got N2 billion while Kebbi received N1.2 billion.

Dataphyte

The highest amount received in the South-South region of the country was given to Rivers. The oil-rich state got N1.5 billion, while Cross River and Delta got N1.4 billion each. On the other hand, Edo received N1.3 billion, just as Bayelsa got N1.2 billion.

 

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Concerns over utilisation of ecological funds

There have been several concerns over the utilisation of ecological funds, especially in the face of constant flooding and environmental problems facing the country.

Different reports have noted corruption surrounding the use of ecological funds, with billions going down the drain.

Dataphyte report exposed how Nigerian states failed to utilise ecological funds despite a myriad of environmental challenges facing the states.

The Nigerian presidency recently challenged states to explain how they spent ecological funds allocated to them.

The Executive Director of Waterwide Nigeria, Mr. Wilson Atumeyi, told Dataphyte that while ecological funds played a very critical role in ecological issues, there were still issues of mismanagement and misuse of the funds.

“Ecological funds are very important for the country, but it is unfortunate that we have issues of mismanagement around them. Within the same period of 2021 and 2022, we have had serious ecological problems like flooding, and you wonder where N64 billion went to, because the impact of such huge money was not felt.”

He opined that state governments needed to be more transparent and accountable with the use of ecological funds.

“There have to be high-level transparency and accountability. There should be a clear methodology for utilisation of the fund. There should be stakeholder involvement. The government should not just use the funds alone, but civil society orgnisations and environmental experts should be involved to ensure effectiveness.

“The states need to prioritise ecological interventions that are more critical to them. There is a need to prioritise and build the capacity of staff and state actors. The government needs to build more capacity for its workers to ensure an understanding of fund management .”

Atumeyi called on states to ensure collaboration and proper management of the funds.

“The money should not just go to states that embark on minor projects,” he said, warning those who would simply take pictures for optics while refusing to utilise the funds to desist from such activities.

A climate change advocate, Mr. Dare Akogun, noted that the ecological funds needed to be better utilised. He lamented that despite the humongous amounts allocated, much change had not been witnessed in the environment.

According to him, the poor utilisation of these funds could be blamed in part for the inability of the country to handle the 2022 flooding, calling for more government transparency to battle the impending floods.

On the way forward, Akogun called for an audit of the monies released.

“There is a need for accountability and an audit of monies released. This is how to ensure accountability and transparency in managing the funds,” he noted.

This story is produced as part of CJID’s Climate Change in News Media Project

Dataphyte

Dare Akogun

Dare Akogun is a dynamic media innovator, strategic communication professional, and seasoned climate and environmental sustainability journalist with over 10 years of influential contributions to the media industry.

He Currently serving as the Head of Digital Media, Senior News Editor, and a presenter at Sobi FM 101.9, a leading radio station in Ilorin, Nigeria.

Dare is on a mission to leverage his media innovation expertise and project management skills to produce high-quality, accurate, and engaging content, while advocating for reduced fossil fuel consumption, especially coal, to combat effect of global warming.

He has covered comprehensively environmental issues and COP conferences, including COP28 in Dubai last year , COP 27 in Egypt, and the United Nations Least Developed Countries conference in Doha, in 2023.

He is a recipient of fellowship to be part of a 15 team of journalists selected worldwide to cover the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2024.

He has a Master's Degree in Mass Communication, from the University of Lagos, a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the Lagos State University and also a
Certification in Business Administration and Management, from the Babson College, Massachusetts, United States of America.

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