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2019 Budget: We’ve released N1.2trn for capital expenditure – Finance Minister

Zainab Ahmed

The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs Zainab Ahmed Wednesday said that N1.2 trillion has been released so far for capital expenditure out of the N2trillion budgets for the 2019 fiscal year.

This, the minister said represented a fifty percent performance of the capital budget.

Mrs Zainab said this while speaking to State House correspondent alongside the Ministers of State Petroleum, Timipre Sylva; Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi and Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

She also disclosed that the revenue performance in the third quarter 2019, prorated to third quarter of 2019 was N4.25 trillion, adding that it represents a performance of 81 percent.

According to her, the GDP growth that we planned for 2019 was 3.5 percent and the third quarter GDP performance was reported as 2.28 percent.

”So far as at last week, we have released up to N1. 2 trillion in capital expenditure and that is a 50 percent performance of the capital for the whole year 2019.

”Now that Mr. President has assented to the 2020 budget which is a major achievement for this government, it is clear that the 2019 budget is also a six month budget.

”So we have achieved a 50 percent performance of the 2019 budget, ” the minister said.

The elated minister said, ”We have also been able to pass through the National Assembly and the National Assembly has passed the Finance Bill of 2019. ”

She said that on the bill would be conveyed to Mr president for his assent today (Tbursday).

On expenditure, Mrs Zainab said the ministry has been able to release all that is required for personnel, saying, ”personnel expenditure is on course, debt service is also on course. ”

On overhead, she said they have been able able to released eight months overhead for general MDA’s and 11 months overhead for some MDA’s ”we classify as critical.”

”This includes the security services, the Federal Government Unity Colleges as well as NYSC and Prison rations. So a few agencies that we classify as critical have received 11 months and we are working on the 12 month overhead release for this category of MDA’s.

”We have started the process of the new long term development plan, we prepared a road map, it is going to be subjected to various stakeholder reviews before we start the actual planning process, ” the minister said.

Also, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has said that full rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt Refinery will commence in January, saying, ”and hopefully 2020 will be a very busy year for the oil industry in Nigeria.”

Sylva who said that the ministry of petroleum had nine mandate areas given by the President, said they have achieved at least one of those mandate areas, ”which is the passage of the deep offshore amendment Act.”

He said that work was ongoing on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) expressing optimism that the bill will be passed into law by June next year.

“We also reported that next year we will open the gas sector and a lot will happen in the gas sector in Nigeria, ” the minister said.

 

Tony Ailemhen