CHUKS OYEMA-AZIKEN writes that the Ecological Fund Office (EFO) has continued to intervene in Environmentally degraded areas across the federation.
At the commissioning and handing over of completed Gully Erosion and Flood control works in Wuro Patuji (Gindin Kurna), Mubi South L.G.A of Adamawa State, the people lauded the federal government for bringing succour to their community.
Across the country, the Ecological Fund Office (EFO), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation(OSGF) has not only executed projects, but restored the economic well being of people who are faced with destruction of their sources of livelihood as a result of environmental degradation.
Speaking at the 2020 Media interaction, the Permanent Secretary, EFO, Dr. (Mrs) Habiba Lawal said the office has made steady progress in the face of limited resources.
She said “We have put in place a reasonable implementation strategies for quick response and intervention to ecological challenges nationwide”
According to Dr. Lawal “From 2015 to date, Mr. President approved 247 projects which have been awarded. Out of this number, 160 have been completed and handed over to the benefiting communities while 45 have been completed but awaiting commissioning. However, a total number of 42 projects are at various stages of completion. We will continue to make steady progress in the discharge of our mandate within the limit of available resources”
She said that they are still more than a thousand requests worth about 1.4 trillion awaiting attention.
“Our challenge has been dwindling resources as a result of crash in the price of crude due to Covid-19 pandemic as well as three agencies of government that draw money in different percentages from the Ecological Fund.
The EFO was established in 1992 as one of the Offices under the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).
The EFO is one of the several beneficiaries of the Federal Government share of Ecological and Derivation Fund and is not responsible for the management of the entire fund. It is only answerable for funds approved by Mr. President for project implementation.
The Office collates proposed projects/requests for FGN’s intervention.
Thirty-five (35%) percent of the Federal Government 1% share of the Ecology and Derivation Fund is being drawn by 3 government agencies.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) draws 20%, the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW) draws 15%. The President recently approved a reduction of NAGGW fund to 5%. The North-East Development Commission (NEDC) draws 10%.
The EFO is left with 65% with which to service the various requests across the federation.
Despite the limitations, Lawal said “EFO will continue to work hard to address ecological issues around the country. With the commitment of Mr. President, the SGF, my supportive boss and hard working management and staff of EFO, we shall deliver on mandate in the years ahead.”