FG releases N1.2trn in 2016 budget to finance critical infrastructure –Udoma


The Federal Government says it has released N1.2 trillion from the 2016 budget to finance critical infrastructure and to meet recurrent needs.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, said this at a Town Hall Meeting to celebrate the mid-term administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Tuesday.

Udoma also said that the activity of militancy in 2016 affected the production of oil, which created revenue challenges.

“The disruption of oil production in the Niger Delta last year created very serious additional revenue challenges, in addition to low prices, we had low production. 

“Nevertheless, we have been able to meet all of our recurrent expenditure commitment, particularly the payment of salaries to civil servant.
“We have also released N1.2 trillion of the 2016 budget to finance capital projects and programmes.

“This is the most unparalleled in the history of Nigeria’s budget performance, and is the highest released that this nation has achieved at a time of dwindling revenues.”

He, however, said that the funds were used for infrastructure, roads, airports, railway lines, dam and for agricultural supports programme.
Udoma said that 30 per cent of the 2016 budget was dedicated to capital expenditure.

“We inherited an economy with declining revenue and GDP growth, raising inflation, weekly balance of payment, declining foreign reserved, raising public debt, capital market and raising unemployment.

“So, we took an immediate steps, which is our promise and commitment to fix the economy, so we started by putting together an expansionary N6.06 trillion 2016 budget, tagged budget of change to reflex the economy and reverse this negative trend.”

Also speaking, Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, said government was working to block leakages, increase on tax GDP and embark on single window projects execution in ports. 

Adeosun furthersaid the administration needed to stabilise the economy because previously, 10 per cent of government expenditures was on capital projects and 90 per cent on recurrent.

She said her ministry had to cut down expenses, overhead money use for travel, stationary by government and track revenue that was not remitted to the government.

“For the Ministry of Finance, our focus now is going to be more on revenue, we borrowed quite a lot in 2016, we don’t want to borrow as much, we want to look at revenue sources, so we are blocking leakages, we are working hard on taxation.

“Only six per cent is attached to the GDP, Nigeria is the lowest in the world. We need to enlighten Nigerians on the need to pay tax and embark on single window projects to block leakages at the ports.”

She said all the 36 states of the federation were viable, noting that the economy is getting better and Nigeria is coming out of recession to become stronger.

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