Monday, 29 August 2016

FG releases N118bn for power and works; N51bn for defence. cc @DrJoeAbah

As at July 2016 the federal government had released the sum of N117.95 billion for the power, works and housing ministry and N51.19 billion for defence and security. The breakdown of expenditures to different ministries is coming at a time when the economy is technically in a recession and the government plans to spend its way out of the crisis to provide reprieve for Nigerians.

Transportation ministry got N23.60 billion to contribute towards building new rail infrastructure across the country under the rail transportation modernisation programme; agriculture got N23 billion; while special intervention programme received N15 billion.

The display of how much was released by the finance ministry however does not go far enough for transparency purposes. Yes, power, works and housing received N118 billion, but how much of it went to each individual project. That is the breakdown that will be novel, radical and transparent. And necessary.

The federal government needs to disclose how much it paid to the contractors for the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway for instance and what that money is expected to accomplish for the project and at what time frame. That is what transparency means. A blanket announcement of so-called releases to ministries does little to help citizens hold the government to account.

Further breakdown of the released funds show that the Niger Delta ministry got N8.27 billion; water resources received N25 billion, to partner with Agric in building clean water infrastructure and modern irrigation systems, as well as to boost agriculture in selected arable lands in the country; the Presidential Intervention for the Northeast got N3.48 billion and education got N1.13 billion.

Meanwhile, under an MOU signed between the Federal Government and contractors, no fewer than seven major contractors have been mobilised to return to site.

These are RCC, CCECC, Julius Berger, PW, MOTHERCAT, BORINNI and PRONO, among others. They are handling key infrastructure projects at different locations, such as, roads, rail, power, airport and ports, among others. (The Scoop)

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