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Great Green Wall Agency’s N81.2 Billion Tree Planting Project Under Scrutiny



A special group within the House of Representatives is currently looking into how money meant for environmental projects was used. They’re particularly interested in the money given to the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW), which was supposed to be used for planting trees and improving the environment.

The investigation covers the time period from 2015 until now. The leader of this group, Rep. Isma’ila Dabo, talked about how even though a lot of money was spent on this program, there are still a lot of environmental problems.

He mentioned that both the government of Nigeria and international partners provided the money for these projects, which is why they’re investigating to make sure the money was used properly.

He also said that the group will be visiting all the places where these projects were carried out to see for themselves if the claims about planting trees are true.

He emphasized that their goal is not to cause trouble for any person or group, but to ensure that the money meant for these projects was actually used for that purpose.

“We will not shy away from pointing fingers where necessary, not out of personal animosity but simply in the national interest of our nation.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 11 states where the trees are planted are: Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Yobe and Borno.

The committee expressed displeasure over conflicting financial reports submitted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and office of the Accountant General of the Federation (oAGF) to the committee.

Piqued by the inability of the agency to substantiate most of the tree planting projects carried out so far, the committee said 80 per cent of trees planted by the agency did not survive.

Meanwhile, the documents submitted by the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mrs Oluwatoyin Madein showed that the total sum of N19.378 billion was released from the derivation and Ecology Accounts to the agency from Feb. 2019 to date.

Responding to questions from the committee, NAGGW Managing Director, Dr Yusuf Bukar, said the Great Green Wall Act was signed by Mr. President in 2015.

He said it enabled the agency to implement the Nigerian component of the programme as an initiative of the African Union being implemented in 11 African countries.

This according to him, is to address the problem of land degradation, desertification, drought, climate change and livelihood of affected communities.

He said the agency planted one million trees in Borno, Yobe and other states, adding that N2.4 billion was released in the first phase and N7.3 billion released in the second phase.

He added that the fund accruing into the agency’s account included 15 per cent of the ecological fund for the Great Green Wall, contribution of fund from the natural resources development fund and gifts.

Others include loans and grants in aid from national bilateral, multilateral organisations and donors, international and development agencies as well as individuals.

He said that the agency often got funds from donor agencies, however, he did not provide relevant documents on the amount received so far.