Power gets highest capital vote

The Ministry of Power got the highest amount of N209.24bn out of the total N753.6bn capital votes so far released by the Ministry of Finance to Federal Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies for the implementation of the 2016 budget.

The details were made available in a statement issued  by the Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Finance, Mr. Festus Akanbi.

Akanbi said in the statement that the Ministry of Defence got N69.5bn, while the Ministry of Transport received N30.5bn.

Others are agriculture, N29.5bn; water resources, N25.2bn; interior, N21.2bn; health, N18.4bn; education, N16.7bn; Niger Delta, N8.1bn; science and technology, N6.6bn; mines and steel, N3.3bn; and petroleum, N2.4bn.

The statement added that the sum of N312.5bn was released for what it described as “others.”

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, had said that the total amount of N753.6bn already released for capital expenditure this year was the highest in the nation’s recent history, even during the era of high oil prices.

At an interactive session with members of the Senate Committee on Appropriation in Abuja last Thursday, Udoma had said that in spite of the shortfall in revenue expectations, the government was committed to its debt obligations and had made efforts to fund the critical sectors to enable it function smoothly, while seeking lasting solutions to revenue shortfalls.

He explained that although the 2016 budget was well conceived, with reasonably conservative benchmarks, it recorded unanticipated revenue shortfalls along the line due to militants’ activities in the oil-producing Niger Delta region.