By Emmanuel Obisue
President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that a total of 266 ecological projects have so far been completed across the country in the last seven years of his administration.
Buhari disclosed this on Wednesday while speaking in Abuja at the launch of a compendium of ecological projects undertaken by his administration, shortly before the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC meeting.
The president said 332 ecological projects were approved during the period in review, out of which 266 were accomplished, while the remaining 66 are at various stages of completion.
He commended the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and the Management Team of the Ecological Project Office, for the judicious use of available resources for the effective implementation of approved projects, as well as the initiative for the publication.
“The enormity of Nigeria’s ecological problems and inherited infrastructural deficit in general, has the tendency, like the proverbial drop in the ocean, to always drown our achievements in addressing ecological challenges and infrastructural deficit at large.
“It is against this background that publications like the one being launched today, become very important and a useful tool in correcting the negative public perception, that government has not done anything in addressing these challenges.
“The documentation and publication of these achievements in our modest effort to tackle ecological problems is therefore predicated on our quest to improve communication in governance, as a tool for keeping citizens well-informed and helping them to hold government accountable.
“This is the most significant implication of the Ecological Project Office’s initiative in publishing this compendium,” Buhari stated.
He affirmed that the compendium, which is for the reading pleasure and knowledge of Nigerians, would bridge the information and communication gap between Nigerians and the real-time performance of his aministration by portraying the specific locations of ecological projects, with pictorial evidence as well as proofs of handing over the projects to the beneficiaries.
He thus urged states and local governments to use their shares of the ecological fund judiciously and strictly for ecological projects towards addressing the ecological problems in their areas.
In his remarks, SGF Mustapha told Buhari that the 554-page publication supervised by the Permanent Secretary, EPO, Dr Habiba Lawal, is aimed at keeping the public abreast of the efforts of the administration in addressing verified ecological problems in “all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria”.
On the federal government share of the Ecological Fund, the SGF explained that the latest sharing formula of the Ecological and Derivation Fund, EDF as modified, allocates 1.00 per cent to the federal government, 0.72 per cent to states, while the local governments get 0.60 per cent.