President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration will ensure the timely release of ecological fund to states to address pressing ecological challenges in their localities.
This was made known by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, when he was speaking on a Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Kaduna, programme at the weekend, Hannu Ya Dawa.
According to a statement by Attah Esa, Deputy Director (Information), State House, Abuja on Sunday, Shehu said the president would continue to assist flood victims across the country.
‘‘The Buhari administration will under no circumstance abandon its humanitarian obligations to alleviate the distress of flood victims.
‘‘In spite of Nigeria’s technological limitations and the paucity of funds to handle or manage large scale and complex emergencies, the APC administration will leave no stone unturned in offering succour to victims of natural disasters across the country,’’ Shehu said.
On the ecological fund, Shehu said it was the right of citizens to demand the judicious use of the fund distributed among the three tiers of government from the Federation Account.
‘‘The largest chunk of the fund goes to the states and local governments. Every month, states and local governments receive 1.4 per cent from the federation account as ecological fund, compared to the federal government’s share of one per cent.
‘‘From the one per cent the FG gets, NEMA takes 20 per cent for its operation,’’ he said.
The Presidential aide noted that lately, disaster management in the country was gradually being ceded to the federal government by other tiers of government.
His words: ‘‘Whenever there is an emergency from natural or man-made disasters, all you hear is ‘where is Buhari, what is he doing? What happens with the other tiers of government?
‘‘Nigerians, at the state and local governments, should demand transparency and accountability in the management of ecological funds by their governors and local government chairmen.
‘‘Without accountability by local political leaders, the federal government would continue to be the scapegoat for the failure of states and local governments to use ecological funds for the purposes they were released,’’ he said.
Shehu said the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation has also been mandated to step up the provision of relief infrastructure to those in need.