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Osinbajo: We’ll Probe N2bn Ecological Fund Shared Under Jonathan

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the current administration will probe the N2 billion ecological fund alleged to have been shared under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Governors had earlier met Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, to seek the disbursement of the country’s ecological fund.

When the issue was presented at the national economic council (NEC) meeting in Abuja on Thursday, Osinbajo said the government of President Muhammadu Buhari would investigate previous spending.

According to Laolu Akande, special assistant to the vice-president on media and publicity, the governors discussed the issue of the N2 billion, which was allegedly shared among some states under “unclear circumstances and criteria”.

“There were complaints that state governments did not have equal access to the fund amid allegations of political preferences,” Akande said in a statement.

“Vice-President Osinbajo assured the council that the matter would be properly investigated, broadly reviewed, and forthright counsel would be made to the president regarding the matter.”

Akande also quoted the vice-president as saying the government is paying diligent attention to the issue of abuses and excesses of certain revenue generating Agencies (RGA).

The statement added that Adeosun was asked to brief the council on abuses by RGAs, and that she said some agencies were paying salaries above specifications of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), and converting official cars to personal ownership under 48 hours of purchase.

“Other abuses stated include inappropriate and arbitrary monetization of medical allowances, undue and excessive overseas travels, lavish training allowances and conference spendings, excessive and personal loan approvals, including unapproved mortgages among others,” the statement read.

“These agencies were said to raise as much as N1.5 trillion annually, and spend almost 90 percent of it on recurrent expenditure in clear violation of due process and the constitution.”

The minister reportedly said the financial abuses had been going on for a decade, revealing that the agencies involved hide revenues that ought to go into the federation account.

She said such activities will now be exposed and terminated as directed by the president.
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