Thursday, 19 June 2014

Federal Government releases fresh N200bn for 2014 capital projects.

Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
The Federal Government on Thursday released the sum of N200bn to Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government for the implementation of second quarter capital projects contained in the 2014 budget.

The development was confirmed by the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala through a statement issued by her Special Adviser on Communications, Mr Paul Nwabuikwu.

The two paragraphs statement said the fresh amount released now brings the total capital releases for the first and second quarters of 2014 to N400bn.

The statement reads, “The Federal Ministry of Finance has released the sum of N200bn for capital projects for the second quarter of the year. “This brings total capital releases for the first two quarters of 2014 to N400bn.”

The Senate had on April 9 passed the budget raising the amount in the fiscal document from the N4.642tn submitted by President Goodluck Jonathan to the National Assembly on December 19, 2013 to N4.695tn.

Highlights of the budget as passed by the upper chambers e signed by Jonathan are Statutory transfers, N408.68bn; debt servicing, N712bn ; recurrent expenditure, N2.454tn; capital expenditure, N1.119tn; and aggregate expenditure.

The lawmakers had tinkered with the original provision of the budget raising the recurrent expenditure from the original N2.43tn submitted by the executive to N2.454tn. It also raised the capital expenditure to N1.119tn from the original N1.10tn earlier proposed.

On the focus of the 2014 budget, Okonjo-Iweala had stated that many policies that would drive economic growth will be implemented in various sectors of the economy. Some of the sectors are housing policy which would be implemented by the Nigeria Mortgaged Refinancing Company; the Sugar policy and the Automobile policy. For instance, the minister said that beginning from next month, about 10,000 people would begin to benefit from the mass housing scheme of the federal government.

For agriculture, aviation and solid minerals sector, she said these sectors would get massive support through incentives in the area of equipment to boost their contribution to Gross Domestic Product. PUNCH

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