Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdulahi,
HighlightNews From MDA'STrending Story

States compound nation’s erosion problems by “arm-twisting’’ Buhari to take their “share’’ of ecological funds – Minister


The Minister of Environment, Mr Mohammed Abdulahi, has blamed state governments for the gargantuan erosion problems across the states particularly in the Southeast.

Abdulahi accused the governors of “lobbying’’ President Muhammmadu Buhari to give them their own “share’’ of the ecological funds, hitherto an intervention fund by the federal government.

“Part of the problem is that initially, the federal government used to intervene in state erosion matters under the Ecological Fund but the states insisted that they should be given their share of the ecological funds.

“So since then, Mr President being a democrat, gave directive that at every FAAC meeting, deductions (their share) should be made and paid to states from Ecological Fund,’’ the minister said at the 69th edition of the inter-ministerial media briefing held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.

Reacting to Gov. Chukwuma Soludo’s tagging of Anambra State as the nation’s erosion capital, Abdulahi said: “On Anambra being the erosion capital of Nigeria, again some of these things boils down to the nature of our federal structure.

“But in spite of that, the federal government through the Ecological Fund office still intervenes in states to support erosion challenges in several states.

“So as much as we want to intervene and correct some of these anomalies, we are also inhibited by funding issues. Again, that was the basis for which the federal government created NEMA so that the issues of erosion are handled in every state.

“There is a huge gap in the management of erosion particularly in the Southeast states of Anambra, Imo and Enugu.

“So we are doing our best to support them but we are also calling on the states to live up to their responsibilities and utilize those funds they get from Ecological Fund effectively, this way we can support ourselves.”

On the ongoing deforestation in the country, the minister also blamed the practice on who he called some powerful interests in the states, who protect loggers that produce charcoal for sale from the felled trees.

“Each time the federal government tried to go after those behind the menace to save the environment, there was a push back at the subnational level on the ground that the trees belong to the states.

“To have some level of control, apart from timber legal standard, we have what we call National Trust Fund (NATF), which is essentially to track in areas where there is so much pressure on our forests.

“After tracking it, raise red flag and then engage those communities and the state governments so that the solution can be brought and have a level of arrest of the continuous challenge to our forest.

“What we did not tell you, is that the activities of the people in the charcoal business with all due respect are being supported by a number of powerful people in the sub-national level.

“And if we try to do some level of enforcement, they will tell you, we own this territory, you are federal government and you cannot enforce your rule and policy on us.

“So, that is part of the challenge in terms of controlling these activities. But in spite of this, the task force is still there, going after some of them on ad-hoc basis, trying to find out who and who is involved, who licensed who. We are doing our best to curb the situation,’’ Persecondnews quotes Abdulahi as saying.

Speaking on the Timber and Energy Standard, the Director-General of Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Prof. Adepoju Olusola, said no other administration has tackled the problem of deforestation more than the Buhari administration.

“The challenge we are facing under deforestation and charcoal is engaging Nigerian Governors Forum because of the Land Use Act.

“The federal government is just a policy provider and doesn’t have that control over state government land to work out a modality which Kaduna State government has keyed in properly.

“It has invested some hectares of land to plant and we are working with the local governments. So, we are projecting other states will follow suit,’’ he said.

Accordng to him, the administration has so far planted five million trees out of the targeted 25 million trees by the year 2030 under its afforestation policy.



Leave a comment

Related Articles

Another Commissioner quits in Rivers State

The River State Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Isaac Kamalu, has resigned as...

Ex-Gov. Bello’s impudence: Redeploy Kogi CP, State Forum of Concerned Citizens urges IGP

Following the outrage over the resistance to arrest by ex-Gov. Yahaya Bello...

Pres. Tinubu Approves Consumer Credit Scheme Takeoff

President Bola Tinubu has approved the takeoff of the first phase of...

Renewed Wike/Fubara feud: Rivers Attorney-General Adangor resigns again

For the second time in a few months, an ally of FCT...

Dana Air incident: FAAN reopens MMIA runway

Aftermath of Dana airlines overshooting the runway during its landing sequence at...

EFCC to ex-Gov. Bello: We will set aside arrest warrant if you show up in court

“I will personally apply that the arrest warrant be set aside if...

Just in: Again, Dangote further crashes diesel, aviation fuel to N940, N980

Dangote Petroleum Refinery has announced another reduction in diesel and aviation fuel...

Just in: Reps ex-Deputy Speaker Ihedioha quits PDP

The main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has lost another...

CBN sells fresh dollars to BDCs at N1,021/$ as naira loses steam

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued another circular to Bureau...

Update: Dana Airlines’ Lagos airport incident: Aircraft grounded

The management of Dana Air has confirmed reports that one of its...

NNPC Ltd., joint venture partner, unlock 12,000bpd production from Awoba Unit Field

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) and its joint venture...

Bullying scandal in Abuja private school stirs condemnation, management reacts

Nigerians have taken to social media over the viral video of a...

Power outages: FG set to unbundle 11 Discos, each state to get its own firm

The Federal Government says it has begun the restructuring and unbundling of...

Tinubu departs Abuja for Netherlands, attends economic forum in Saudi Arabia

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will on Tuesday, April 23, depart Abuja for...

Merge NSCDC, FRSC with Police – IG

The Federal Government should merge the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps...

NDLEA urges Lions Club, other service organizations to join war against illicit drugs

The National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has urged service and...

FG begins loan disbursement to businesses, manufacturers

“The Federal Government of Nigeria is proud to announce the operational launch...

Horrific! Babcock varsity law professor shot fatally, two others abducted in Ogun

The gunmen, who killed the lecturer, also abducted two others at the...

Ogun begins sale of rice at discounted prices to workers

Ogun State Government has commenced sale of rice to its workforce as...