Senate Faults ‘Smuggled’ N16bn Vote Into Environment Ministry’s Budget

The Chairman, Senate Committee on the Environment, Ike Ekweremadu,  has drew the attention of the Appropriation Committee of the red chamber to the sum of 16 billion naira allegedly smuggled into the 2022 budget of the Ministry of Environment.

Ekweremadu spoke when he appeared before the Appropriation panel to defend his committee’s 2022 budget report.

He said the money was actually meant to service loans believed to have been collected by the Federal Government on behalf of some states being ravaged by erosion.

He said the same anomaly was discovered last year but that the ministry explained that it was a mistake.

He pointed out that the loans were supposed to be paid by the states for a period of 10 years, starting from 2023.

The senator said the loans would be deducted from the allocations to beneficiary states and not from the service wide vote or the budgets of agencies of the Environment Ministry.