Abuja – The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said capital releases to Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the 2016 budget had reached a record N1 trillion.
In a statement by the Director of Information, Ministry of Finance, Mr Salisu Danbatta, on Sunday in Abuja, Adeosun attributed the record performance to stability in oil prices. She said that with the return of normalcy in Niger Delta, she was confident that the Federal Government would achieve even more in the 2017 Budget.
According to the minister, the amount was released for various projects, which included the construction of a dual standard railway line from Lagos to Kano and rehabilitation of roads, among others. Also of importance, she said, were the expansion of irrigation facilities to boost agriculture and the upgrading of aviation infrastructure.
“The components of the releases included aggregate releases to the MDAs of N870.05 billion as at the end of February 2017 and additional releases of N65.39 billion. “Others were Manual Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIEs) in February 2017, totalling N11.179 billion and an additional Manual AIEs worth N45.81 billion as at March 13, 2017,’’ the statement read in part.
Adeosun said the overall capital releases, totalling N992. 44 billion, had made impact on Nigeria’s economy through creation of jobs and stimulation of economic activities in communities. The releases have also enhanced upgrading of infrastructure, thereby improving the wellbeing of Nigerians, she said. The minister pointed out that contractors returning to project sites around the country have employed more workers. “They are also contributing to economic growth and improved wellbeing of Nigerians. “We are determined to transform the economy and this is why we are focused on capital expenditure. “If we have our road, rail and power, then we will be able to generate jobs and prosperity,’’ Adeosun said in the statement.
NAN recalls that the Federal Executive Council, at its meeting on March 22, 2017, approved the reconstruction of 12 more major highways across the country, costing N80 billion. This is in line with the Federal Government’s drive to devote more resources to capital projects.
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