Nigerian Government to focus on infrastructure based development

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja

The Nigerian government says it is focusing on critical infrastructure development to drive the country’s economy in line with its diversification policy.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun stated this while addressing members of the House of Representatives as part of the ongoing sectoral debate on resuscitating the Nigerian economy.

Mrs. Adeosun explained that Nigeria will target increased capital spending to drive long-term growth that would lead to substantial increase in gross capital formation and also enable industrialisation and increase business competitiveness.

The Minister said government will continue to prioritise budgetary releases to its agencies for capital projects while improving on agriculture and other revenue generating sectors to drive the nation’s economy.

“I cannot promise every agency will receive every single naira in the budget. Budget is estimation. MDAs must make case for capital execution and we must measure its importance before fund release,” she said.

Mrs. Adeosun also told the House that over N4 billion is being spent yearly on rent payments by different agencies, but efforts are underway to move such agencies into the recovered properties in Lagos and Abuja to save cost.

On the situation with state governments’ debts crisis, the minister said there is an ongoing move by federal government to cut from 50% down to 10% of state’s counterpart money for the access of UBEC money, which is making them borrow to meet the requirement.

In the presentation, the minister said 4 to 5 billion dollars is to be raised from multiple external sources including multilateral agencies and export credit agencies.

“Additional funds to be raised from international capital markets and balance of funds to be raised in domestic market. Use earnings from revenue-generating projects that are debt financed to service debt.” she said.

The sectoral debate is part of the legislative agenda of the 8th National Assembly to address challenges facing different aspects of the Nigerian economy.

Nnenna.O