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N34Billion In Ecological Funds Disbursed To Nigerian States In 8 Months, But Erosion, Flood Control Efforts Grossly Underfunded By Governors

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A review of data published by the National Bureau of Statistics has shown that between September 2023 and April 2024, Nigerian states received the sum of N34 billion as ecological funds.

Despite receiving these amounts, the situations in the states do not show that they have been spending enough funds on erosion and flood control, based on a review of budget performance documents.

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This comes as 31 states have been projected to witness flooding in 2024. Many states have already started witnessing flash flooding as of the time of filing this report.

Review shows that Kano State received the highest amount in the period under review, with the sum of N1.415 billion.

Kogi State which was heavily hit in 2022 got the sum of N986 million in the period under review. Delta State received N910 million, Bayelsa N794.4 million, while Anambra N891.6 million.

Kaduna got N1.175 billion, while Katsina received N1.13 billion.

Amidst longstanding concerns about the lack of accountability in the management of ecological funds, it has been revealed that the funds allocated to address environmental issues such as flooding, erosion, and other ecological challenges have not been adequately utilised.

This revelation comes on the heels of the devastating floods that ravaged Nigeria in 2022, resulting in significant loss of lives and property.

In 2022, the Presidency led by then-President Muhammadu Buhari challenged states to give an account of how funds meant to tackle ecological needs were spent.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Projects also raised concerns on the management of the funds.

The 2022 flooding was said to have put 1.5 million children at risk, despite states receiving the sum of N64 billion between 2021 and 2022.Local governments Receive N6.9Billion Ecological Funds In Two Months

In a related development, local governments received the sum of N6.9 billion as ecological funds between March and April 2024.

In April 2024, local governments in Kano State received N173 million, Katsina State got N132 million, Oyo State got N117 million while Rivers got N91.1 million.

States fail To Spend On Erosion, Flood Control

A review of budget performance reports shows that Kogi State budgeted a sum of N50 million for erosion and flooding control in the first quarter of 2024 but spent zero naira in the first quarter of the year. In the last quarter of 2023, Kogi spent only N1.297 million on erosion and flood control and this was what it spent in the whole year from a budgeted amount of N90 million.

Nasarawa State budgeted the sum of N1.72 billion for erosion and flooding control in 2024 but also failed to spend on the problem in the first quarter of the year. The state also budgeted N2.8 billion for flooding and erosion control in 2023 but did not spend any money for the whole year.

Kano State budgeted N220 million for erosion and flood control in 2024 but failed to spend the fund in the first quarter of the year. In 2023, the state government budgeted to spend N277 million on erosion and flooding control but did not spend any money by the end of the year.

In Plateau State, the Nigerian Newmap and Erosion Control Program failed to utilise its N300 million budget for 2024, recording a zero percent budget performance. Meanwhile, the Climate Change State Development Program allocated N453 million, but only managed to spend a mere N20 million, representing a negligible fraction of the allocated funds.

In 2023, the state budgeted the sum of N300 million for Nigeria erosion and watershed project but did not spend any money, while climate change state program project had N402 million allocated but nothing was spent.

Oyo State budgeted to spend the sum of N400 million on flooding and erosion control in 2024 but failed to spend any money in the first quarter of the year. In the last quarter of 2023, the state however spent N7 billion on erosion and flood control.

Kwara State budgeted N195 million for erosion and flood control but failed to spend any money in the first quarter of 2024. It, however, spent N52 million in the last quarter of 2023.

Bauchi State budgeted N1.48 billion for flood and erosion control but only spent N5 million in the first quarter of 2024. Bauchi State budgeted N277.4 million for 2023, but spent N62 million in last quarter of the year and N115 million in the whole year, representing 41.7% of the budget.

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