FG Releases N200Bn for Capital Projects
ABUJA: Federal government has released N200 billion for the second quarter capital projects, meaning that there will be more money in circulation now.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, minister of Finance, said that the N200 billion brings the total capital release for both the first and second quarters to N600 billion.
The 2013 budget made provision for an aggregate expenditure of N4.987 trillion, representing an increase of 6.2 per cent over the N4.697 trillon appropriated for 2012.
This is made up of N387.97 billion for statutory transfers; N591.76 billion for debt servicing; and N2.38 trillion for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure, of which N1.717 trillion is the provision for personnel cost, while overhead cost is to gulp N208.9 billion.
Similarly, a total of N1.62 trillion was provided for capital expenditure in addition to the N273.5 billion budgeted for the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme.
The gross federally collectible revenue is projected at N11.34 trillion, of which the total revenue available for the Federal Government’s budget is N4.1 trillion.
According to the statement, the prompt release of funds will ensure progress in the execution of capital projects captured in the budget.
Of the N400 billion released for the first quarter, Okonjo-Iweala said N335 billion had been cash-backed, while 65 per cent of the cash-backed portion had been utilized by ministries, departments and agencies of government.
The statement also said that a total of N72.7 billion had so far been paid to the Federal Ministry of Power to cover various items necessary for the implementation of the Power Roadmap.
The amount, she said, included the sum of N45 billion paid to workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria as part of the power privatization programme and the sum of N5 billon paid for the Multi Year Tariff Order.
“Other beneficiaries include the Power Ministry headquarters, Power Holding Company of Nigeria, National Rural Electrification Agency, National Electricity Regulatory Commission, National Power Training Institute, National Electricity Liability Management Limited/GTE and Bulk Trader,” the minister said.
A breakdown of the N72.7 billon shows that N59.089 billon was paid in the first quarter, while N13.733 billon has so far been paid for the second quarter.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who signed the 2013 budget amidst reservation, had sent an amendment supplementary version to the National Assembly to address grey areas in the one earlier passed by lawmakers.
The grey areas include reduction in personnel cost; reallocation of capital expenditure by lawmakers and reallocation of the budget for the SURE-P.
The Finance minister had in a presentation on the 2013 budget said the government remained focused on critical economic and social sectors driven largely by private sector activities.
To achieve this, she had said N497 billon was allocated to key infrastructure, including power, works, transport, aviation, gas pipelines; the Federal Capital Territory; human capital development i.e. education and health, N705 billon; and agriculture/water resources, N175 billon.
Okonjo-Iweala had said, “We recognise that Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit remains one of the binding constraints to growth in the economy. Therefore, our strategy is to prioritise infrastructure investments in the budget, and also to leverage additional external financing for infrastructure investments in the country.
“For example, the budget 2013 has some important infrastructure projects in the transportation sector, such as the second Niger Bridge.”