- OSOPADEC Chair: Ondo ecological challenges overwhelming, beyond capacity of state government
- Olubadan: EPO’s intervention in Ibadan ‘troubled spot’ ‘ll be my one-year anniversary gift
By Seun Adams
The Permanent Secretary, Ecological Project Office (EPO), Malam Shehu Ibrahim, has called for collaboration between the Federal Government, States and Local Government Authorities in the utilization of ecological fund allocations to address the ecological challenges ravaging the country.
Meanwhile, the Executive Chairman of Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC), Mr. Sam Erejuwa, has stated that the ecological challenges along the coastal lines of Ondo State is overwhelming and beyond the capacity of the State Government and the OSOPADEC which is the reason it is seeking the Federal Government intervention through EPO.
Shehu, who made this call during a courtesy visit of the OSOPADEC chair, at the EPO during the weekend in Abuja, said a lot will be achieved if the three tiers of government pull together their share of the fund for pressing and urgent interventions.
According to him, “Since the States have their share, Local Governments have, Federal Government also have, if they are able to pull the funds and work together, it will make more impact. Unfortunately, it is only the Federal Government that has structures to manage its own share of the fund”.
The Permanent Secretary explained that the Office receives 0.55% of the Federal Government 1% share of the fund while the 0.45% is shared amongst four other sister agencies which include: National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW), North-East Development Commission (NEDC) and the Nigeria Agriculture and Land Development Agency (NALDA).
He expressed optimism that a synergy between the Federal Government, State Governments and the Local Government Areas will impact more communities and assist the Federal Government take more positive stand while considering the interventions.
In a remark, the Executive Chairman, OSOPADEC, Erejuwa, stated that the ecological challenges along the coastal lines of Ondo State is overwhelming and beyond the capacity of the State Government and the agency which is the reason it is seeking the Federal Government intervention.
He said the situation was very critical and needed urgent intervention to avert the total extinction of all the coastal line communities in the state.
Erejuwa, further described the situation as being pitiable. He said, “The living condition is pitiable and need urgent land reclamation, retaining walls and dredging of the communities. It is certainly beyond us, a whole generation will cease to exist if the situation is not addressed urgently”, adding that many schools in the communities were already submerged and “in the sea” as a result of the coastal degradation.
The OSOPADEC, boss also disclosed that, “over 100 communities are affected especially Aiyetoro which is the main stay of the area is almost impassable now. This is a Save our Soul call to keep our people safe”.
The Director, Finance and Accounts of OSOPADEC, Mr. Bayo Olanujubo, who accompanied the Executive Chairman on the visit said that the agency is open to synergy with relevant stakeholders in addressing the Ecological issues affecting the communities.
In a related event, the Permanent Secretary also received on a courtesy visit, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Mahmoud Balogun, represented by Senator Kola Balogun who conveyed the monarch’s request for intervention on flood control and the ecological issues ravaging the entire Ibadanland.
The monarch commended the Office for previous interventions in his domain but appealed for more in the “troubled spot”, stating that the federal government is the last hope of the people.
“We have no other place to go to but to come to you: “This intervention will be an anniversary gift for the monarch who will be marking his one year in office anniversary.” Balogun added.
The Permanent Secretary who received the monarch on behalf of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha acknowledged that the request had been captured in the office databank and will be given due consideration and attention.