Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Federal Government, on Thursday, disclosed that over N100 billion Sukuk Bond raised in 2017 was spent on the construction of twenty-five priority major roads across the country.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, stated this, in Abuja, as part of the public presentation of the 2018 budget recently assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, did not specifically mention the roads.
He also said spending on capital has been prioritised in favour of critical ongoing infrastructure projects, such as power, roads, rail, agriculture.
He also hinted that capital expenditure in the 2017 Budget was designed to be funded by borrowings.
Sen. Udoma also highlighted some of the challenges in the domestic environment which he said were “incidence of crude oil production shut-ins, insurgency in parts of the North East and restiveness in some
other parts of the country, severe weather conditions especially flooding of major cities.
He, however said, “despite these challenges, we were able to come out of the economic recession by sticking to the programme of action stipulated in the ERGP and its pre-cursor Strategic.
He hinted that the 2018 Budget proposal seeks to continue the reflationary policies of the 2016 and 2017 Budgets which helped put the economy back on the path of growth.
“Thus, we plan to continue to spend more on ongoing infrastructure projects that have potentials for job creation and inclusive growth; We will continue to leverage private capital and counterpart funding for the delivery of infrastructure projects. As with 2016 and 2017 budgets, the 2018 budget has been prepared on the Zero Based Budget (ZBB) Principles.
He further said the peivate sector involvement was a sine qua non assuring that ” government will continue to create the enabling environment for private
sector to increase their investment and contribute significantly to job creation and economic growth.”