FOLLOWING several predictions that Nigeria might experience another flooding this year, The ICIR findings have shown a total of N12.94 billion have been shared among the 36 states as ecological funds from January 2023 to April 2023.
The ecological fund is disbursed to fund ecological projects that will mitigate ecological-related problems such as flooding. This is one per cent allocation from the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursements shared within all levels of government monthly.
Since the last flooding in 2022, which displaced over 1.4 million people from their homes, there have been growing concerns about the utilsation of ecological funds disbursed by the federal government to states monthly.
Between 2021 and 2022, N64 billion was disbursed to 36 states as ecological funds, but the federal government said that floods decimated 82,053 houses, while 332,327 hectares of land were completely damaged. The ICIR also reported that about N700 billion in agricultural investments were lost.
While the 2022 flood incidence was exacerbated by continuous rainfall and the releases of excess water from the Lagdo Dam in neighbouring Cameroon country, the federal government disclosed that 32 states, 178 local government areas (LGAs) and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are at risk of heavy flooding in 2023.
In June, The ICIR reported how flooding submerged several houses in the Trademore estate located in Abuja; a development that caused the Federal Capital Development Authority to mark several houses along the waterways for demolition.
Also, The ICIR has captured in several flood series reports the preparations and mitigation plans of some states towards the 2023 prediction, one which could be achieved through the proper utilisation of the ecological funds.
What the data says
The data obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the total gross statuary allocation on the ecology fund to the 36 states in January and February was N4.6 billion and N2.57 billion, respectively.
Also, the allocation for March 2023 was N2.44 billion and April 2023 was N3.33 billion.
For the four months, Kano, Lagos and Kaduna received the highest allocation with N541.2 million, N475.1 million and N447.1 million, respectively. Meanwhile, Bayelsa (N301.0 million), Kwara (303.7 million) and Ekiti (N305.1 million) had the lowest allocations.
The data showed that the net share allocation to the FCT in the four months was N109.93 million.
While there are no clear indications as to how these funds have been spent, The ICIR reported that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said at least 33,983 persons have been affected by flooding in 2023.
The agency also said over 660,000 households would be targeted for livelihood support.