FG Kicks Against Bill On Regulation Of Ecological Funds - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Thursday, November 26, 2020

FG Kicks Against Bill On Regulation Of Ecological Funds

Boss Mustapha 

ABUJA -  The federal government has kicked against the bill for an act to establish the regulation of ecological funds that it would impede on the President’s power to use the Fund for emergencies if it has to revert to the National Assembly for appropriation and approval.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha who was represented by Igwe Clinton, Director of Pollution Control, made this known on Wednesday at a public hearing on a Bill for an Act To Establish The Regulation Of Ecological Funds To Address Nigeria’s Ecological Challenges And For Related Matters (HB 739), organized by the House Committee on Ecological Funds.

The SGF who discredited the bill while presenting its findings and recommendations to the committee, explained that the bill will be interfering with the mandates of other federal government establishments such as, National Emergency Management Agency, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency and National Environmental  Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency as duplication of function.

According to him, the establishment of a Governing Council in the Bill is a replication of the erstwhile bogus National Council on Ecological Problems (NCEP), the large number of membership makes the project selection, procurement and execution of projects cumbersome and problematic.

He said the bill as proposed will replace the emergency and interventionist posture of the Ecological Fund Office as presently constituted adding that by implication slow down the quick response in dealing with erosion problems in Nigeria, noting that over the years, the Ecological Fund have consistently been placed under the control of  the President and disbursed through the EFO under the supervision of  the SGF.

“The ecological fund as presently constituted is not subject to the process of appropriation by the National Assembly. This gives the president the much needed flexibility to effectively and timeously respond to ecological emergencies the fund is created to address.

“If the bill is passed into law as proposed, it will impede on Mr. President’s power to use the fund for emergencies if it has to revert to the National Assembly for appropriation and approvals. It is not always feasible to predict emergencies, hence the inability to appropriate or budget for such disasters or ecological emergencies.

“The bill as presented will negatively politicize the operations of the Ecological Fund Office, such as what has been the bane of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC),” he said.

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