Some dubious incumbent governors and former have reportedly scampered, rattled, jittery and are running from pillar to pole over fresh probe of N432.5b Ecological Funds allegedly mismanaged by most of them.
Many of the governors have inundated the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with enquiries on their fate, TheNation Newspaper says. It was learnt that they sought to know those to be probed and for which period.
It was learnt on Wednesday that the anti-graft agency had received some petitions against some state governors who diverted the funds.
A source at the agency said, “We will probe some states involved in the diversion of ecological funds but it will not be all the states and it will not be at the same time. It will be on a case-by-case basis.”
Besides the state governments, it will be recalled that the Ecological Fund Office was in 2014 directed by the Federal Executive Council to fund the procurement and nationwide distribution of over 750,000 clean cooking stoves and 18,000 wonder bags, at a cost of over N9.2bn.
The Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology raised the alarm that it could be a ploy to fund the 2015 elections by the Goodluck Jonathan government.
Two per cent of the monthly allocation from the Federation Account is allocated to the Ecological Fund Office.
Based on an analysis of the table of distribution from FAAC obtained from the website of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, N107.79bn was allocated for ecology in 2014 and 2015.
According to the analysis, N46.89bn was allocated in 2014 while 2015 had an allocation of N60.9bn.
The Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Bello Masari, had in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Friday faulted the execution of N1.9bn drainage contract in the Katsina metropolis by the former administration in the state. The money was sourced from the Ecological Fund Office.
The contract was given at N1.99bn and the contractor collected 90 per cent of the payment. He has collected over N1.7bn.
“He said he had done the job with the best material. We got an independent person to do an assessment of the job. We said he should be as generous as possible but he valued the contractor’s maximum work at N700m.
“The contractor has abandoned the site. The money given to him was not covered by any bank guarantee or insurance guarantee. It was just given to him. We said, if you cannot complete the work as designed, this money was collected from the Ecological Fund account in Abuja, return it.
An audit of the Ecological Fund between 2007 and 2011 by the House of Representatives early this year revealed that money was released to people outside the purpose of setting up the fund.
According to the audit report, funds were allocated to 139 contractors for projects, out of which only 36 were completed and two stalled and N24.2bn was paid to the contractors, with an outstanding of N16.5bn.
“But the actual fund transferred to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Ecological Fund Office account for execution of ecological projects from 2007 to 2011 was N56.9bn,” the report stated.
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