President Muhammadu Buhari is set to travel to the United States where he will address the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, September 19, 2017.
Confirming the development, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu told the Punch:
“I cannot tell you the time he will be going because it can change but I know he is expected to be the eighth speaker at the UN. So, he will be there and he will speak.”
President Buhari is listed as number seven on the provincial list of speakers and is expected to speak after the leaders of Brazil, the United States, Guinea, Switzerland, Jordan and Slovakia.
In a related development, the Presidency has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration will ensure the timely release of ecological funds to states to address pressing challenges in their localities.
Garba Shehu stated this when he appeared on Hannu Ya Dawa, an audience participation programme on Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, Kaduna.
Restating that the Buhari-led administration would continue to assist flood victims across the country, Shehu said:
“The Buhari administration will never abandon its humanitarian obligations to alleviate the distress of flood victims.
“In spite of Nigeria’s technological limitations and the paucity of funds to handle or manage large scale and complex emergencies, the APC administration will leave no stone unturned in offering succour to victims of natural disasters across the country”.
The Presidential aide also stated that it was the right of citizens to demand the judicious use of the Ecological Fund which is distributed among the three tiers of government from the Federation Account.
“The largest chunk of the fund goes to the states and local governments. Every month, state and local governments receive 1.4 per cent from the Federation Account as Ecological Fund, compared to the federal government’s share of 1 percent. From the one percent, the federal government gets, NEMA takes 20 percent for its operation,” he said.
Shehu noted that lately, disaster management in the country was gradually being ceded to the Federal Government by other tiers of government. He said:
“Whenever there is an emergency from natural or man-made disasters, all you hear is ‘where is Buhari? What is he doing? What happens with the other tiers of government?
“Nigerians at the state and local governments should demand transparency and accountability in the management of ecological funds by their governors and council chairmen.
“Without accountability by local political leaders, the federal government would continue to be the scapegoat for the failure of states and local governments to use ecological funds for the purposes they were released.”
Shehu disclosed that the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation had also been mandated to step up the provision of relief infrastructure to those in need.
BuzzNigeria recalls that following the August 27 flood disaster in Benue, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo while acting on the President’s instruction, recently visited the flood-ravaged state where thousands have been displaced to identify with the victims and assure them of the Federal Government’s support.