The Ecological Fund Office (EFO) in the Presidency yesterday urged states and local governments to create similar offices for specific channeling of ecological funds to them.
The Deputy Director in the office, Mr. Tolu Makinde, made the call in Abuja, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Makinde said these offices would address the misconception that states were not receiving the funds or using it to address their ecological problems.
He explained that the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) allocate ecological funds to states and local governments monthly.
According to him, the funds are disbursed together with the federal allocation to all tiers of government.
He said the amount allocated to the Federal Ecological Account was not meant to be shared, but for intervention during emergencies.
The deputy director recalled how the Federal Government approved N17 billion during the 2012 flood disaster from its share of the fund and disbursed to the affected states.
He, however, urged communities to approach their states and local governments for funds to address ecological challenges within their localities.
On the criteria for the approval of ecological projects, Makinde said that Federal Government considered the gravity and enormity of ecological problems.
He commended the National Conference Committee on Environment for recommending additional two per cent allocation of the national revenue to ecological fund.
He said the fund would be used to tackle desertification, soil erosion and many other ecological challenges in the country.
It could be recalled that the Federal Government established the Ecological Fund through the Federation Account Act of 1981, in order to have a pool of funds that would be solely devoted to funding ecological projects. (NAN)