$10.5bn Green Bond Fund used to power education facilities

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From: Kazeem Biriowo, Abuja

The Minister of Environment Surveyor Suleiman Zarma on Tuesday revealed that the proceeds from the $10.5 billion threshold was used to power education facilities while the second was used to electrify rural communities through renewable energy.

Zarma made this known during the questions and answers session of the 2019 valedictory ministerial briefing of the Ministry, held in Abuja.

He listed Turankawa community in Sokoto state as part of the beneficial communities.

Zarma further disclosed names of the universities which benefited from the projects to include Danfodio University Sokoto, Bayero University Kano, HDU Bauchi, University of Ife,  University of Agriculture, Markudi, and University of Ibadan.

On the level of completions of the projects Zarma said, “There are different levels of completions, adding that three universities are at 75% completion as University of Bauchi is at 40% and lot of materials have been supplied.

“I want to tell you that there are levels of supervision of these projects, the investors are supervising, the Ministry of Power as well as the facilitators of the fund are all supervising and that is the status of the project today.

“Back to the proceed we are also part of these fund for various forms afforestation all over the country by different agencies.”

The Minister used the opportunity to roll out achievements of the ministry since 2015. In achieving flood prevention and management of coastal shoreline, Zarma said the ministry has prepared a National Policy on Erosion and Flood Control which consists of National Planning, Action Plan and the Technical Guidelines which is now the policy that guides the implementation of Erosion and Flood in the country and clearly states the responsibilities of three tiers of government as well as relevant agencies.

On Environmental Good Health and Well-being of Nigerians, the Minister said “the ministry flagged off Sanitary Inspection of Federal Government premises nationwide in 2018 in collaboration with Environmental Health Officers Registration Council (EHORECON) and Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB)”

On adaptation and mitigation measures to reduce climate change in line with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), the Minister noted how President Muhammadu Buhari attended almost all the annual Conference of the Parties (COP) on climate change since coming into office, thus signed and ratified the instrument of ratification of the Paris Agreement.

According to him, it made Nigeria part of nations in the World taking bold step against climate change.

On the environmental degradation by the foreign nationals, especially Chinese, Zarma said Nigerians are involved in degrading the environment.

“The Chinese engaged in these activities because we are all involved. The question is what we are doing to stop the menace of degradation of our environment.

“The agency involves is NESREA, and they are running after those Chinese involved in degrading the environment. Some of them are undergoing prosecution right now, some their offices are sealed as NESREA are in control against the perpetrators”.

Responding to question on the smuggling of Pangolin scales from Nigeria to Singapore, Zarma said “Nigeria is not Pangolin nation. Nigeria is just been used as a transit route.”

He said, “We even asked the Singaporean authority to give us the addresses of the agencies that transported the Pangolin so that we can close on them. To tell you the fact, Nigeria is not Pangolin nation but the transit route. If you find any, report to the authority to make sure that this is minimized”.

“We approved the procurement of big scanners for customs so that they can detect these small things like Pangolin Scales.

“I think if you are familiar with fish scales, the pangolin scales is just a little bigger that of a fish that makes it difficult to identify because it is too small and it is expensive. On the other side, we don’t use, we don’t have it, they were just transit it from here.” He emphasized.

On the number of contractors handling Ogoni Clean-up, the Minister said they are actually 21.  16 that were earlier cleared and moved to site, and the big 5 were later cleared by the National Assembly and move to the site making the total numbers 21.

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