MDGs funds: Reps threaten to sanction states

The House of Representatives Committee on Millennium Development Goals on Wednesday in Abuja stated that the attitude of some state governors, who tie down funds meant for the MDGs, constituted a serious threat to the realisation of the 2015 target for the attainment of the goals.

It, therefore, threatened to sanction the states found to be withholding the funds by reporting their governors to President Goodluck Jonathan.

The committee also advised the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to promptly release funds for the MDG development programme.

The committee stated that since the Debt Relief Fund was statutory, its timely disbursement by the Finance Ministry was imperative to achieving the MDGs by 2015.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Alhassan Doguwa, issued the threat to the states during a sensitisation workshop on the 2013 Conditional Grant Scheme organised for the states by the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol.

Speaking on effective utilisation of the MDGs fund, the lawmaker challenged state governments, which were performing well, to intensify their efforts, and urged those doing otherwise to rise up to the challenge in order to achieve the MDGs.

He advised the state governors to liberalise every procedure and procurement process rather than hoarding the fund for their selfish interests.

Doguwa said, “And ultimately, if any state continues to lag behind, we as members of the Presidential Implementation Committee will have no option but to recommend to the President that we should sanction the states that are not performing. We will get them out from the programme and use the funds for other purposes that will be useful and that will carry Nigeria forward.”

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