Posted by News Express | 11 February 2018 | 1,014 times
The Federal Government has assured that the 2019 general elections would not distort its capital budget implementation as funds would be deployed for the completion of ongoing infrastructural projects across the country.
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, stated this on Friday in Abuja while representing the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, at a lecture delivered to the National Defence College (NDC) Course 26 participants.
While responding to an enquiry by a member of the NDC Course 26 on the use of the capital budget for the general elections, Adeosun assured that the government would not divert capital project funds for the elections.
According to a statement issued on Sunday by Oluyinka Akintunde, Special Adviser to the Minister on Media and Communication, she declared that “the administration remains committed to infrastructure spending at the high levels of the past two years and the completion of major ongoing projects.”
Adeosun further reiterated the commitment of the government to its programme of transformation, and jobs and wealth creation across the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on November 7, 2017 presented a budget of N8.612 trillion to the National Assembly, with focus on massive infrastructure development which includes: key strategic roads, rail projects and power projects, among others.
The Minister delivered the Vice President’s lecture to the Course 26 participants titled “Economic Dimensions of National Security: The Nigerian Experience”.
In the speech, Osinbajo said improvement in economic security was vital to Nigeria’s economic growth, human security improvement, and realisation of national defence and security requirements.
He assured that the Federal Government would continue to play a key role in ensuring national cohesion by promoting social inclusion as a key state objective.
“Economic development is a springboard for improved national security because it comes with growth which enables more resources for a growing population.
“National economic development means that a country can meet its national security needs without depending on outsiders for the provision of its defence and security needs. Depending on food and energy imports makes a nation vulnerable to external pressure,” said the Vice President, who chairs the Economic Management Team (EMT) of the Government.
He disclosed that the Administration adopted the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) as a response to the recession towards restoring growth and reducing Nigeria’s vulnerability to external shocks.
He explained that the ERGP was initiated to address macroeconomic balance, increase contribution of agriculture, manufacturing, mining and high value services to the economy, build a competitive economy through the provision of infrastructure, and invest in the Nigerian people.
On the Social Investment Programme, the Vice President revealed that about 200,000 N-Power Jobs had been created under the programme while 250 million meals had been served under the Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
He added that 300,000 micro loans had been issued under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme.
Osinbajo was optimistic about Nigeria’s outlook for 2018, noting that the Federal Government expects the economy to grow by 3.5 per cent, which is 1.4 per cent more than the International Monetary Fund’s projection of 2.1 per cent for Nigeria.
“The inflation projection of 15.74% by end of 2017 was achieved and there is good reason to believe that the EGRP target of 12.42% by the end of 2018 can be achieved.
“With regard to foreign exchange reserves, the level of $40.3 billion achieved by end January is already quite close to the amount of $43.53 billion projected in the ERGP for the end of this year. Given the current state of the oil market, this is a target that can readily be achieved,” the Vice President stated.
•National Defence College Commandant, Rear Adm. Oshinowo, presenting a plaque to Mrs. Adeosun at the lecture
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