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Chairman, Senate Environment Committee, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on Monday, shifted the focus of the Red Cross’s estimates committee to a total of N16bn in the 2022 budget of the Ministry of Environment.

Ikweremadu spoke before the General Assembly to defend the committee’s 2022 budget report.

He said the money was intended to provide loans to the federal government, which is believed to have been raised by the federal government due to soil erosion in some regions.

He said the same problem was found last year but the ministry was wrong.

He said the loans should have been repaid by the states for 20 years starting from 2023.

The senator said the loans will be deducted from the bridges provided to the beneficiary regions, not from the broad voice or budget of the Ministry of Environment.

“Last year, N6bn was in the local budget for multi-lateral lending services in terms of erosion.

“Unfortunately, about N1.5bn has been released to the region and later the Ministry of Finance wrote, it is a mistake to think that most of the loans are from the broad voice of the service we serve.

“So we took it in good faith but surprisingly now we have received another N16bn from the Ministry of Environment for the same reason.

He added: “So we decided to find out why; Finally, we invited the Minister; But now, he says, it was not until they received the envelope that they sent the money to the ministries to distribute to the agencies.

“But when the money came to the National Assembly, it was N16bn for the new card loan service. We asked when this money was for service and he said we have a 10-year suspension; we can’t offer it until 2023.

“We have also found that about 21 regions have benefited; It is the states that pay the debt, not the federal government. So we wait until 2023 to prepare food or ask states to start supplying if they have to pay now.

“While the federal government has to pay, the MDAs’ budgets must go through a wide margin, not a budget; that is wrong. The unusual thing is that it has not been fixed.”

The Chairman of the Ownership Committee, Senator Baru Jibrin, thanked the Equatorial Panel for its commitment and dedication.

Jibrin: “Your report is accurate and up to the point. We are satisfied with your report.

“Your work on this committee is commendable. It shows that you are doing your best.

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