OrderPaperToday – The Senate through its Committee on Environment has hinted that about N16 billion was included in the 2022 budget of the Ministry of Environment to service debts believed to have been collected by a state government.
Senator Ike Ekweremadu, former Deputy Senate President and Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment, gave the hint during the presentation of his committee’s report before the Senate Committee on Appropriation in Abuja, on Monday.
He recalled that similar money of about 6 billion naira was included in 2021 budget, but the ministry of Environment was queried by the committee, only for it be brought back in the next year’s budget, this time to the tune of N16 billion.
Sen. Ekweremadu wondered why the ministry keeps reflecting in each year’s budget cycle, a loan that was approved by a world institution for states government in Nigeria with a moratorium of ten years before the states government would begin the initiation of payment of the loan.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Jibrin Barau, in his response, expressed satisfaction with the report and commended the Committee on Environment for a job well done.
While fielding questions from newsmen, Senator Ekweremadu expressed confidence that the Senate Committee on Appropriation would get to the root of the matter and handle the case in the best interest of Nigerians.
On the effort to control desertification, he said about six hundred and ninety two million trees are to be planted in eleven states of the North to check desertification in the region.
Senator Ekweremadu further disclosed that the tree planting would be funded by the Great Green Wall Initiative.
In a related development, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, called for prompt release of funds allocated for the Army to buy weapons to win the war against insurgency and banditry.
While presenting his report before the committee, the Committee on Appropriation called for increase in the capital fund allocated to Nigeria Army in the budget proposal.
Sen. Ndume urged the Federal Government to change its funding approach in the Army, adding that wars are not fought with bare hands.