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Niger State Government said the rationale behind the establishment of the State Security Trust Fund was to provide a sustainable funding mechanism that would adequately fund security activities in the state.
Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Ahmed Ibrahim Matane made the clarification while briefing newsmen after the state weekly Executive Council meeting in Minna, the state capital.
The SSG said the Bill for the establishment of the Trust Fund, which was assented to, Wednesday, by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello will serve as a sustainable platform to fund security activities in the state and provide opportunity for individuals, private and public organisations to contribute and support the security sector.
“This bill, now assented into law, will give the state a sustainable platform to fund security activities in the state. The Trust Fund will create an opportunity for us to explore, outside of government budgetary system, and canvass for resources to fund security activities in terms of equipment, infrastructure and human resource etc”, he said.
Alhaji Ibrahim Matane stated that the Security Trust Fund, when established, would also provide the opportunity for the private sector, financial institutions and other companies operating in the state to support the collective effort in tackling security challenges as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) function.
Speaking on how the fund will be managed, the SSG said the law has provided that there is a structure, where a Chairman is going to be appointed by the Governor and has to be confirmed by the State Assembly added that the personalities that will manage the fund are clearly independent.
He said those in charge would be given the responsibility to take decisions on how funds can be generated, utilised and accounted for.
Similarly, the State Commissioner for Environment, Mohammed Tanko Zakari said the law prohibiting indiscriminate felling of trees across the state is aimed at checkmating deforestation and desert encroachment.
He told Journalists that, hence forth, it is an offence to indiscriminately cut down our trees anywhere in the state adding that the law has made provision for adequate penalties for who so ever is found indiscriminately cutting down trees.
The Commissioner explained that the idea was to make sure that the environment is kept serene and our trees protected stressing that “while making effort to plant more trees, we want to ensure that we protect the ones that we have already planted are not cut them down indiscriminately. “
He maintained that the law has made adequate provisions for modalities through which trees could be cut down.
“Anybody caught cutting down trees, the person that authorizes the cutting down of the trees and even the vehicle that is found to have conveyed these trees all have adequate provision and modalities of how to deal with such a situation”, he emphasised.
Barrister Tanko Zakari said that the Green Guards and Task Force will be on ground and will be charged with the responsibility of managing our forests to ensure that anybody found cutting down trees indiscriminately are dealt with.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Justice, Barrister Nasara Danmalam, who is the custodian of these laws, explained that penalty for people who enter our forests and illegally exploit the forest resources, such person shall be liable to pay a minimum fine of N100,000 and the items confiscated.
He, however, called on the people to key into the energy regeneration policy in order to protect the environment and its resources.
Barrister Danmalam also urged the people of the state to support and assist the State Security Trust Fund to enable it procure equipment and logistics to aid security operations in the state.