President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that 266 ecological projects have been completed across the country in the last seven years.
Speaking at the launch of a compendium of ecological projects undertaken by his administration, the President said 332 ecological projects were approved during the period, out of which 266 were accomplished.
The remaining 66 are at different stages of completion.
The President, who launched the publication before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting, commended the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Management Team of the Ecological Project Office, EPO for the judicious use of available resources for the effective implementation of approved projects, as well as the initiative for the publication.
To leverage the benefits accruable to government from the commendable efforts of the EPO, and the effective communication of these efforts through the publication, the President directed Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, which have not done so to showcase their performance and achievements to the public.
‘‘The enormity of Nigeria’s ecological problems and inherited infrastructural deficit in general, has the tendency, like the proverbial drop in the ocean, to always drown our achievements in addressing ecological challenges and infrastructural deficit at large”. President Buhari stated.
‘‘It is against this background that publications like the one being launched today, become very important and a useful tool in correcting the negative public perception, that government has not done anything in addressing these challenges. The documentation and publication of these achievements in our modest effort to tackle ecological problems is therefore predicated on our quest to improve communication in governance, as a tool for keeping citizens well-informed and helping them to hold government accountable. The President noted.
The President said the compendium, is for the reading pleasure and knowledge of Nigerians, would bridge the information and communication gap between Nigerians and the real-time actors working towards handing over the ecological projects to the beneficiaries.
President Buhari urged States and Local Governments to judiciously use their shares of the ecological fund, strictly for ecological projects towards addressing the ecological problems in their areas.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, told the President that the 554-page publication supervised by the Permanent Secretary, EPO, Dr. Habiba Lawal, was aimed at keeping the public abreast of the efforts of the administration in addressing verified ecological problems.
He thanked the President for promoting the culture of accountability, and for approving the change of name of Ecological Fund Office to EPO, for its mandate not to be misconstrued by the public.
‘‘The Office was established through the Federation Account Act in 1981, primarily to carry out intervention projects nationwide with the Federal Government share of the ecological funds, to address critical ecological problems to supplement States and Local Government shares of the fund.’’
On the Federal Government share of the Ecological Fund, the SGF explained that the latest sharing formula of the Ecological and Derivation Fund, EDF, as modified allocates 1 percent to the Federal Government, 0.72 per cent to States, while the Local Governments get 0.60 per cent.
Mr Mustapha said out of the 1 percent of the Federal Government share, monthly the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, gets 20 percent, National Agency for Great Green Wall, NAGGW, 5 percent, North East Development Commission, NEDC, 10 percent, while the National Agricultural Development Agency, NALDA, receives 10 percent.
Reporting by Abdullah Bello; editing by Adeniyi Bakare