By Ese Awhotu Abuja
Minister of Finance, Finance, Kemi Adeosun has disclosed that, the federal government’s capital expenditure for the 2017 fiscal year was in excess of N1.5 trillion.
The minister stated this yesterday through her official verified Twitter handle, @HMKemiAdeosun.
She said, “I’m pleased to note that we’re going to close the 2017 budget with capital spending in excess of N1.5 Trillion, which is higher than what we achieved in the 2016 budget. We’re also looking forward to the passage of the 2018 budget by @nassnigeria (National Assembly.”
The minister expressed delight that the 2017 expenditure was higher than that attained in 2016 with capital expenditure in excess of N1trillion.
On the country’s debt, she tweeted that, “Our debt management strategy, focusing on bringing down borrowing costs, is working. This time last year, @AsoRock was borrowing at an average cost of about 18 per cent, today it is 13 per cent. We will continue to work very hard on debt service. — Kemi Adeosun (@HMKemiAdeosun) May 13, 2018.”
Adeosun had stressed the need to diversify the country’s revenue base, even as she commended the revenue agencies for adding more than five million new taxpayers to the country’s tax base in the last two years.
The minister had also tweeted on May 10, 2018 that,” Nigerians should trust the @MBuhari Administration to deliver on its promises of improving the economy and providing sustainable infrastructure development. All around the country we have rail, power and road projects ongoing, creating jobs, and improving citizens’ lives.”
Recall that in December last year, the minister had announced the release of N1.2 trillion to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government for implementation of capital projects contained in the 2017 budget.
She gave the figure during a meeting with a delegation of investors from France in Abuja.
Adeosun told the delegation, made up of 30 companies from France, that government had previously released N450 billion for capital projects, and with additional N750 billion, a total of N1.2 trillion would have been invested in infrastructure in the country.
She also told the delegation, who expressed readiness to invest in key sectors of the Nigerian economy, that “what the government is doing is to provide enabling infrastructure that will bring potential into reality.
“Last year (2016), we released N1.3 trillion of capital and so far this year we have released N450 billion and this week, we will release another N750 billion and this will take the release to N1.2 trillion by the end of the year.”
In March, she had projected capital expenditure closing at around N1.3 trillion mark or above.
She listed the covered by the 2017 releases as power, works and housing (N301.89 billion), defence (N151.2 billion), agriculture (N119.9 billion) transport (N127.9 billion). Other sectors took a total of N547.6 billion.
The total 2017 budget amount was N7.44 trillion and was tagged ‘Budget of Recovery & Growth’.