The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has over the weekend announced that Capital releases to Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the 2016 budget, have reached a record of N1 trillion.
Making the declaration in a statement signed by the Director, Information, Salisu Dambatta, Adeosun revealed that the N1 trillion mark is the highest ever budgetary releases in Nigeria’s annual funding for capital projects.
She said; “So far, N1 trillion has been released on capital and this is the highest so far in the history of this country. With the current stability in oil price and the return of normalcy in Niger Delta, I am sure we will do more this year (2017)”.
The Minister who disclosed the figure in an interactive exchange with members of the House of Representatives Tactical Committee on Recession in Abuja, said the amount was released for various projects including the commencement of the construction of a dual standard railway line that would link Lagos and Kano, rehabilitation of roads, expanding irrigation facilities to boost agriculture and the upgrading of aviation infrastructure throughout the country.
She said; “The components of the releases include aggregate releases to the MDAs of N870, 055, 792, 283.00 billion as at the end of February 2017 and additional releases of N65, 393, 920, 000 billion. Others were Manual Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIEs) in February 2017 in the sum of N11, 179, 173, 711.42 billion and an additional Manual AIEs worth N45, 804, 709, 077.20 billion as at March 13, 2017”.
Adeosun noted that the overall capital releases totaling N992, 433, 595, 071.42 billion have made impact on the Nigerian economy, by creating jobs, stimulating economic activities in communities and upgrading infrastructure, thereby improving the wellbeing of Nigerians.
The Minister pointed out that contractors returning to project sites around the country have employed workers, contributed to economic growth and improved the well being of Nigerians in line with the strategic objectives of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
She however stressed; “We are determined to transform the economy and this is why we are focused on capital expenditure. If we have our rail, road and power, then we will be able to generate jobs and prosperity.”
It could be recalled that in the Federal Government’s drive to devote more resources to capital projects, especially the upgrading of the country’s infrastructure, the Federal Executive Council at its meeting on March 22, 2017 approved the reconstruction of 12 more major highways across the country at the contract sum of N80 billion.