The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee, has raised concerns on Wednesday regarding assertions made by the National Agency for Great Green Wall (NAGGW).
The NAGGW claimed to have spent N81 billion on planting 21 million trees in the northern frontline states of Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Yobe, and Borno.
During the committee session, the Director-General of NAGGW, Yusuf Maina Bukar, revealed that the agency also allocated N697.71 million for office accommodation renovations and N11.28 billion for capital projects. He clarified that the primary sources of agency funding were derived from 15% of Ecological Funds, federal allocations, and various other financial sources.
The committee also probed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regarding seven accounts linked to the NAGGW held within the bank. The committee reviewed a six-page document dated August 22, 2023, provided by the CBN, which indicated that N9,465,960,382.57 had been deposited into the agency’s account from 2015 to the present.
Representing the Accountant-General of the Federation, Oluwatoyin Madein, Deputy Director Irene Nwangwu informed the committee that the NAGGW had received a total of N19,377,726,506.95 from the Derivation & Ecology Accounts between February 2019 and the current date. Additionally, the agency had received N11.023 billion as capital expenditure through the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
The committee, led by Chairman Isma’ila Haruna Dabo, along with other members, expressed dissatisfaction with the agency’s expenditures in relation to the outcomes achieved. The committee also noted that the NAGGW appeared to have strayed from its core mandate.
Chairman Dabo stated, “Projects such as the Great Green Wall under investigation here were designed primarily to address some of these issues. The persistence of these challenges despite funds put into the programme from both the federal government and international partners has necessitated this investigation.
In recent years, we have witnessed a significant upsurge in natural environmental challenges such as land degradation, deforestation, desertification, and drought, which most times are explained within the context of climate change.”
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