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April 15, 2024

Lawmakers Uncover How NAGGW Spent N81.2bn Planting 21m Trees, Query Report

Lawmakers in Nigeria have expressed concern about the conflicting financial reports submitted by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, and the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW).

The concerns were raised during an investigative hearing into the “Utilization of Ecological Funds Released to the National Great Green Wall from 2015 to Date” held by the House of Representatives. The hearing was led by Hon. Isma’ila Dabo, the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee on Ecological Funds.

According to the documents presented to the committee, the NAGGW allegedly spent a staggering sum of N81.2 billion on planting 21 million trees across 11 frontline states. These states include Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Yobe, and Borno.

In response to the concerns raised by the lawmakers, Dr. Yusuf Bukar, the Managing Director of the NAGGW, explained that the agency has been working to address the environmental challenges facing Nigeria, including land degradation, desertification, drought, climate change, and the livelihoods of affected communities. He said that the agency has received funds from various sources, including 15 percent of the ecological fund for the Great Green Wall, contributions from the natural resources development fund, and donations, loans, and grants from national and international organisations.

Hon. Dabo, the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, said that the committee will embark on an on-the-spot assessment tour of all the projects executed under the scheme to ascertain the claims made by the NAGGW. He said that the committee is resolute in undertaking this assignment in the interest of all Nigerians and that it will not shy away from pointing fingers where necessary.

“We are not here to scandalise any individual or organisation but only to ensure that public funds are utilised for the purpose they are meant for,” he said. “We will not shy away from pointing fingers where necessary, not out of personal animosity but simply in the national interest of our nation.”


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