By Sani Mohammed
The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee investigating the utilization of the Ecological Fund realesed for the Great Green Wall has summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Accountant General of Federation over the fund.
The ad hoc panel, chaired by Rep. Dabo Ismail Haruna (APC, Bauchi), also invited the Federal Ministry of Environment and the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW).
The House had in July passed a resolution in which it resolved to set up an ad hoc panel to investigate the utilization of the ecological fund and all the contracts awarded to various contractors for the project from 2015 to date.
The committee was equally mandated to investigate the total sum received through the policy, foreign donations for the initiative and the level of compliance with the goals and objectives of the project.
The resolution followed a motion jointly moved by Rep. David Abel Fuoh; Rep. Zacharia Nyampa; Rep. Shetima Ali Lawan and Rep. Olusola Fatoba.As part of its assignment, the committee also invited all benefitting state governments and relevant stakeholders that have useful information on the utilization of the ecological fund to appear before it.
The panel, in statement by its chairman on Monday in Abuja, said the aim of the investigation was to expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the operations of the Great Green Wall Projects in the front line states.
The House had, while considering the motion, noted that the Great Green Wall Initiative for the Sahara and Sahel Programme was initiated and adopted by the Head of Governments and States of the African Union in 2005 to address the issues of desertification, land degradation, Bio-diversity loss, promote climate change resilience by ecosystems and communities and improve food security in about 21 countries of the Sahel region in Africa.
It said that the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGVW) is a Nigerian federal agency under the Federal Ministry of Environment, established to address land degradation and desertification and support communities to adapt to climate change in states such as Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa,Yobe and Zamfara.
The House noted that 100 households were targeted for the programme and about 16,800 women and youths would be beneficiaries of the initiative to combat the effect of climate change as Nigeria worked toward the 2060 target of zero carbon emission that pollutes air. He added.