Exclusive: How Nigerian environment minister, Abdullahi nominated cousin accused Of N6.5 billion fraud as DG of agency under his supervision

Salisu Dahiru, the pioneer Director-General of the Climate Change Council is the first cousin of Mohammed Abdullahi, the Minister of Environment, SaharaReporters reports.

The agency was created under the Ministry of Environment after the signing of the Climate Change Act by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Climate Change Act clearly states that the Director-General doubles as the secretary of the council and is confined to a term of four years unless reappointed.

Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and Ministers of Environment; Power; Finance and others constitute the council. However, the DG is to see to the day-to-day administration of the council.

His appointment took effect on Monday, July 25, 2022.

Prior to his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, Salisu was the national project coordinator for the Nigeria and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), partly financed by the World Bank.

“The Minister of Environment nominated his first cousin to be Director-General of climate change. An agency under his supervision. This is a man who was in April redeployed from the Ministry of Science, and Innovation, just four months in the Environment Ministry, he has started nominating his relatives into key positions,” a source in the ministry.

Meanwhile, a group suspected to comprise aggrieved workers in the Ministry of Environment had petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), over alleged fraud committed by the former Director of Forestry and Head, Federal Department of Forestry.

The petition, signed by the group’s head, alleged that Salisu, while serving as the National Coordinator of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programme, misappropriated the sum of N6.5 billion.

In 2010, he was appointed the national coordinator of REDD+ where he worked as the team lead for mainstreaming of REDD+ into the country’s national development agenda. 

Calls put across to Salisu were not answered nor returned.

A text message also sent to his mobile line was not replied to as at the time of filing this report.

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