FG orders release of N600bn for capital expenditure

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*Buhari

The federal government on Tuesday directed the ministry of finance, budget and national planning to release N600 billion for capital expenditure in the next three months.

President Muhammadu Buhari gave the directive in a nation-wide broadcast to commemorate Nigeria’s 59th independence anniversary.

He said the government had significantly increased investments in critical infrastructure pointing out that as of June 20 this year, up to N1.74 trillion had been released for capital projects in the 2018 fiscal year.

He pledged that implementation of the 2019 Capital Budget, which was only approved in June 2019, will be accelerated to ensure that critical priority projects are completed or substantially addressed.

To maximise impact, he said “we shall continue to increasingly welcome and encourage private capital for infrastructural development through public private partnerships.”

He added that through the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, which he initiated last January, “we are giving incentives to private sector inflow of over N205 billion in 19 Nigerian roads and bridges of 794.4km across in 11 states of the federation.”

On the performance of the economy, the president said the medium-term development plan charted the trajectory for “our economy to exit from recession and return to the path of sustainable, diversified and inclusive growth for Nigerians.”

Pursuant to these reforms, the president said the economy “has recovered and we have had nine successive quarters of growth since our exit from recession.

He said the exchange rate in the last 3 years has remained stable, with robust reserves of US$42.5 billion, up from US$23 billion in October 2016.

However, he blamed the previous governments for abandoning the residual Investment-driven non-oil sector, which, according to him constitutes 40 per cent of gross domestic product that provides millions of jobs for able-bodied Nigerians and utilise locally available raw materials and labour for production.

Learning from the mistakes of the past, Buhari said his administration was committed to responsibly manage “our oil wealth endowments…continue to prudently save our oil income and invest more in the non-oil job-creating sectors.”

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