By Etuka Sunday
The Federal Government has announced that a total of N1,580,270,755,084.44(One trillion, five hundred and eighty billion, two hundred and seventy million, seven hundred and fifty-five thousand, eighty-four naira, forty-four kobo) capital cost was released to Ministries, Departments and Agencies for the 2017 federal budget.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who made this known in Abuja yesterday, said the N1,580,270,755,084.44 total capital releases for 2017 was remarkably higher than the N1,219,471,747,443.00 total capital releases for 2016.
In the 2017 capital releases, Power, Works and Housing received the highest allocation of N523,011,701,723.25 which was 33.10% of the total capital releases. The sector also received the highest releases in the 2016 capital budget, which was a total of N307,411,749,682.00 (25.21%) of the 2016 capital budget.
Defence and Security received the second highest capital releases of N197,596,016,072.02 (12.50%) in 2017, as against N77,532,885,729.00 (6.36%) total releases the sector received in 2016.
Agriculture and Water Resources received a total of N149,485,276,897.37 (9.46%) in 2017. The sector had receivedN143,121,925,241.00 (11.74%) of the capital releases in 2016. Transportation received a total of N126,253,042,607.50 (7.99%) of the 2017 capital releases as against the N171,900,597,013.00 (14.10%) in 2016.
Health and Education together received a total of N98,190,277,285.69 (6.21%) for 2017 as against N56,270,030,992.00 (4.61%) the sectors received in 2016.
Other sectors combined received a total ofN485,734,440,498.61, which was 30.74%of the 2017 capital releases. In 2016, a total of N463,234,558,786.00 (37.99%) was disbursed to these sectors.
The Director of Information, Ministry of Finance, Hassan Dodo, in a statement quoted Adeosun to have said that despite the economic challenges in 2017, the Federal Government was able to fully cash-back the capital releases.
She further stressed that the sustained high allocations to key sectors was a reflection of the Federal Government’s commitment to infrastructure development in the country.
The Minister said the Federal Government was working assiduously to attract private capital to complement government spending in these key areas.