The senate committee on the environment has uncovered about N16 billion naira said to have been included in the 2022 budget by the Ministry of Environment for servicing of debts, believed to have been collected by the state governments and not the federal government.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Environment, Senator Ike Ekweremadu who dropped the hint during the presentation of his committee’s report before the Senate Committee on Appropriation in Abuja.
Senator Ekweremadu expressed dissatisfaction that similar money of about N6 billion naira was included in 2021 budget, but the ministry of Environment was queried by the committee, only for it to be brought back in the next year’s budget, this time to the tune of N16 billion naira.
He said the loan was approved by a world institution for states government in the country and not for the Federal, with a moratorium of ten years before the states government would begin the initiation of payment of the loan and wondered why the ministry keeps reflecting it in each year’s budget cycle.
He urged the committee on Appropriation to write to the Ministry of Finance to find ways of retrieving the 16 billion naira.
Fielding questions from newsmen, Senator Ekweremadu who failed to mention the states that collected the loan said he forsee a grand plot to defraud the Federal Government.
Ekweremadu who was also the former Deputy Senate President expressed confidence that the Senate Committee on Appropriation would get to the root of the matter and handle the case in the best interest of Nigerians.
Also speaking on the effort to control desertification, he said about six hundred and ninety two million trees are to be planted in eleven states of the North to check desertification in the region.
Senator Ike Ekweremadu explained further that the trees planting would be funded by the Great Green Wall initiative.
He stressed that the initiative has no time frame attached to it, noting that the idea was aimed at addressing issues associated with desertification in the country.
The Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriation Senator Jibrin Barau expressed satisfaction with the report and commended the Committee on Environment for a job well done.
Similarly the Chairman Senate Committee on Army Senator Ali Ndume also presented his report before the committee while calling for the prompt release of funds allocated for the Army to buy weapons to win the war against insurgency and Banditry.
He urged the Committee on Appropriation to increase the capital fund allocated to Nigeria Army in the budget proposal.
Senator Ali Ndume said wars are not fought with bare hands, and called on the government to change its funding approach on the Army.