Reps lament hitches on ecological fund’s probe

The House of Representatives Committee on Ecological Fund has lamented being frustrated in its effort to investigate the utilisation of the fund.

The committee summoned several ministries, departments, and agencies of the Federal Government over their failure to answer invitations to defend how they spent the fund they collected.

Several MDAs had failed to attend the committee’s second investigative hearing on the floods and the use of ecological funds over the years.

At the hearing held on Tuesday, the Chairman of the committee, Ibrahim Isiaka, said the MDAs were frustrating the investigation being conducted by the lawmakers.

Isiaka said, “The Ministry of Health, they collected about N20bn and they have refused to come and defend how they spent the money. Ministry of Niger Delta, they collected about N10bn to N15bn and said they spent it on the East-West Road that has a separate budget, and we have asked them to come and tell us—and defend—what they have spent the money on, but they have not come.

Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency is not even, by law, supposed to be drawing money from the Ecological Fund, and they said the money given to them was a loan, when they came, and we have told them that they should come to let us see how we can refund that money to the Ecological Fund. The Federal Road Maintenance Agency has neither responded nor made an appearance on the about N2bn they claimed to have used to repair a road in Edo State.”

Several members of the committee asked that the lawmakers invoke their powers against the erring MDAs, especially the issuance of an arrest warrant.

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