2021 Budget: Senate seeks increased allocation to Environment Ministry

By Ignatius Okorocha

The Senate on Tuesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency, review upward the budget estimate to the Ministry of Environment.

This was as the Upper chamber raised alarm over looming environment hazards threatening the lives of the citizenry in parts of the country.

Former Deputy President of Senate, Sen. IKE Ekweremadu, who doubles as Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment made this appeal at the budget defence of Ministry of Environment yesterday.

According to him, the Federal Government has not shown sufficient political will to address the environmental challenges threatening the fabric of the nation, noting that the paltry sum of N8.9 billion allocation to the Ministry and its Agencies every year does not show the sincerity of the Federal Government to tackle the nation’s environmental challenges.

“So, I just want to appeal that when you go back tell the President, Vice President, the Secretary to the Federal government, Finance Minister that we are not satisfied with the amount of money that is allocated the Ministry of Environment.

“I also want to appeal that the ministry and its agencies on the need to insist that their budgetary allocation should improve. We are only here to help but you need to start the fight. Create the awareness, through seminars, summits and we will be there to speak until Nigerians begin to listen to know that environment is as important as the health, it is as important as Aviation and other key sectors of our economy.

“I want to make this clear so that the authorities will know the danger pose to us by their negligence. You don’t deal with victim of environment hazards by sending palliatives every year without tackling the menace from the root. This is not how to do it in other contraries. You to consider the lives of the people you govern.”

Earlier in his remark, Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad M. Abubakar while lamenting over the paltry allocation to the Ministry and its agencies pleaded with the legislators to prevail on the Finance Ministry to review allocation to the ministry and its agencies.

He noted at out he N568.5 million appropriated to the main ministry in 2020 budget as overhead the sum of N285million was released while N280.3million was utilized leaving a balance of N110.5 unreleased.

Abubakar also noted that the estimated N8.9billion to the ministry ans its agencies in 2021 budget was grossly inadequate to tackle environmental challenges in the country and pleaded with the committee to come to the aid of the ministry and its agencies in this year’s budget.

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