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FG to release fresh N60bn for capital projects



The Federal Government on Friday said it would release additional N60bn within the next few days for the implementation of capital projects captured in the 2016 budget.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, stated this during an interactive session with journalists in Abuja.

The minister said the N60bn would be released in addition to the over N400bn earlier released by the ministry for capital projects.

She said the earlier promise made by the Federal Government to stimulate the economy was on course, noting that part of the strategies towards achieving that was to provide funding for capital projects.

She said, “We said from the beginning that the economy would need a spending stimulus. So far, we have spent on capital projects over N400bn between May when the budget was signed and today.

“And even as we leave here now, we are going to have a capital allocation meeting where we are going to allocate another N60bn. So we are pumping money into the economy at a very rapid rate.”

The minister however said it would take time to start feeling the impact, owing to the time lag between spending and effects.

Adeosun said that while the government was willing to provide funds for capital projects, the procurement process that usually accompanies capital projects was slowing down releases.

She, however, said since Nigerians are eager to see speedy completion of critical infrastructure projects, they should understand that majority of the contractors were owed huge debt by the previous administration.

She said as a result of these huge debts, the impact of the capital release may not be felt when compared to a scenario where the government was not owing any contractor.

On whether the government had abandoned the plan to generate revenue from luxury items such as private jets and yachts, the minister said the proposal that was made during the Goodluck Jonathan admnistration had no legal backing.

She said with the inauguration of a committee to review the nation’s tax system, the government would consider giving legal backing to that proposal.

She said two of the fiscal areas where the government would be focusing within the short to medium term are taxes and duty waivers.