Lawmakers query agency for using N81.2b to plant 21m trees in 11 states
House of Representatives, yesterday, said it uncovered how the National Agency for Great Green Wall (NAGGW) allegedly spent N81.2 billion to plant 21 million trees across 11 frontline states.
The states are: Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Yobe and Borno.
The lawmakers, who spoke during an investigative hearing on ‘Utilisation of ecological funds released to NAGGW from 2015 till date’, queried some of the expenditures made during the period under review.
The committee was headed by Isma’ila Dabo. The lawmakers expressed displeasure over conflicting financial reports submitted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (oAGF), and the agency.
Recall that the House had, during a plenary session in July, resolved it would constitute an ad hoc committee to investigate utilisation of ecological funds released to NAGGW.
Lawmakers, who spoke after scrutinising documents submitted to the committee, noted that N697.372 million, N500 million and N480.657 million was spent on renovation of office accommodation, while N11.28 billion was spent on capital projects and constituency projects.
The lawmakers also queried rationale for warehousing billions of naira in the agency’s account for several years without returning such money to government’s coffers, in line with extant financial regulations.
Lamenting that the agency did not carry out any audit of its finances since inception, the lawmakers frowned at the humongous amount spent on capacity building and other subheads, which are alien to mandates of the NAGGW.
Recall that N1 billion naira belonging to the agency was fraudulently laundered by some officials of the Federal Ministry of Environment in 2015 but was recovered by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences (ICPC) Commission.
Investigators said the illicit transfers were carried out in collaboration with some financial banks and Bureaux de Change.
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