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Lawan decries diversion of ecological funds, El-Rufai urges proper management

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has decried the alleged diversion of resources from the Ecological Fund Office for other purposes, charging his colleagues to transform the establishment through legislation to be more responsive.

Ecological funds have become slush money in recent years in many states, as reports abound of misapplication without traces.

Lawan, who spoke yesterday in Abuja after the upper legislative chamber considered a bill to address the challenge nationwide, harped on urgency.

He said the ecological office should be made to be responsible for all related issues as well as making it an institution that could also address desertification.

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“We must ensure that government attends to these ecological problems because people are affected as they lose their lands, property and villages,” Lawan stated.

The piece of legislation, which scaled second reading at plenary, seeks to establish the Erosion Control and Prevention Commission.

The sponsor, Senator Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP: Anambra South), in his lead debate, said a body to prevent and control erosion had become imperative in view of the devastating impact of the disaster in parts of the country.

“Almost every part of this country is characterised by one environmental problem or the other. But, however, the menace of erosion is unarguably the severest in terms of devastation and destruction,” he noted.

Ubah therefore canvassed the adoption of preventive measures through legislation.

The bill wad thereafter referred to the Committee on Environment.

Also, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna has called for the transfer of the fund to the Ministry of Environment for better management.

He made when the Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, presented one million seedlings to the state government to mark the World Environment Day at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House in Kaduna.

The governor said it was only proper for the Ecological Fund to be domiciled in the environment ministry for effective handling of erosion, deforestation and desert encroachment.

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