2016 Budget: We’ve released N720bn for capital projects – FG

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According to reports, the federal government has said that that it had so far released N720 billion to Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) out of the N1.8 trillion budgeted for capital projects in the 2016 Budget.

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Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this yesterday at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja.

She said work on the 2017 Budget has reached an advanced stage, stressing that the document had already been extensively reviewed by the Economic Management Team (EMT).

According to her, the 2017 budget estimates would now be presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval, before it would be sent to National Assembly for passage into law.

She said the federal government is working hard to ensure that the National Assembly pass the 2017 budget this year so that implementation would start in January next year.

The minister said the Federal Executive Council was briefed on the implementation of the N500 billion social investment programme of the federal government to be rolled out are in four parts.

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She said: “First is the homegrown school feeding programme which is targeting 5.5 million primary school people in all the states of the federation from primary 1-3. As at today, 11 states are fully ready to start and the first phase will feed 3.5 million school children.

“The second programme is a job creation programme which is aimed at preparing 500,000 university graduates; they will be equipped with devices containing information to train them as teachers, agricultural workers and also as health support workers. They will be deployed to work in their local community. They will be receiving a monthly stipend of N30, 000 monthly for a period of two years.

“The third is the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), where one million care givers will be given N5,000 monthly for a period of two years. Focus has been given to the extremely poor and vulnerable in our society and special emphasis is being placed to providing as many as possible in the northern eastern part of the country where a lot of internally displaced persons are.

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“The fourth is the enterprise promotion programme which is essentially the loan scheme which will be handled by the Bank of Industry (BOI). A total of 1.6 million people made up of market women, traders, artisans, small businesses, and youths will be given loan from N10,000 to N100, 000 with a repayment period of three to six months and administration cost of five per cent.”

Also speaking, the Minister of Power, Works, Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said the Council had approved the 215 megawatts Kaduna power plant project.

He said: “The memo sought procurement and implementation defects and lack of budget support for the project which was started in 2009 and should have been completed in 2012, but we are now in the position that we can complete this project by next year to add 215 megawatts of power to the national grid. And in particular dedicate some of the power to Kudan Dam in Kaduna to support industrial complex there.

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“The second project approved is the construction of a sub-station to evacuate 40 megawatts of power from the Gurara Hydro Electric Power Plant, Phase 1, to connect to Kaduna and to enable it to interconnect to Mamdo Transmission Substation. This will strengthen the transmission grid.

“What these two approvals will do is to complete ongoing projects, which is a commitment of this administration, and create work because contractors will return to site and also increase our power by 215 megawatt, from Kaduna we will get 40 megawatt extra into the grid from Gurara Phase 1 and we are also expanding the transmission across the country.”

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