FG Cites Due Process for Delay in Injection of N350bn into Economy, Targets $100bn in Non-Oil Exports
The federal government on Wednesday blamed the delay in the release of about N350 billion earmarked to reflate the Nigerian economy, on due process.
Minister of budget and national planning, Mr Udoma Udo-Udoma speaking with newsmen shortly after the weekly meeting of the federal executive council presided over by acting president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, stated that the release of the funds had been stalled as a result of the need to comply with the rules of due process.
According to Leadership newspaper, Mr Udoma stated that a substantial portion of the funds will be ready for release next week, with the ministry of works, power and housing as a major recipient of the funds.
The minister said the focus of Wednesday’s FEC meeting was to review the economy and that the Council approved that the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) should fast-track the processes for the capital budgets so that the economy could be quickly reflated.
He said, “It’s easier for us to fund existing projects but new projects are a bit more difficult because of the public procurement (requirements). You have to advertise and you have to wait for six weeks and so on. So new projects will take a bit longer.
“But existing projects that had already gone through the public procurement process will be faster and I believe that you will soon start seeing the impact of those releases.”
On recession as hinted by Central Bank of Nigeria, Udoma said, “What has happened to Nigeria is not a surprise to the government; it is something that we came in to meet; it has been caused by the fall of crude oil prices from over $100 to less than $30 and so we came in to meet that problem.
“The decision that we took to address that problem is to reflate the economy and the budget was aimed at achieving that and that is why you have in the budget a plan to spend a large amount of money on infrastructure, but as you know, the budget was only recently passed.
“It is just that, at this particular point in time, we expected this trajectory because the releases will only start kicking in so that, by the third quarter, we will start seeing the impact of what we are doing to reflate the economy.”
Meanwhile, the federal government through the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has set a long-term target of achieving $100 billion earnings from non-oil exports.
The executive director\CEO of NEPC, Mr Olusegun Awolowo, disclosed the plan on Wednesday while presenting a paper, “The ‘Zero Oil Plan and Export Revolution” during a Development Agenda for Western (DAWN) Commission/NEPC dialogue on economic diversification with some representatives of six south west states, at the headquarters of DAWN Commission in Ibadan.
He said the move was meant to salvage the country from its over reliance on oil and to fill the current financial hole created by the fall in oil price, adding that the Council was on a mission to diversify the country’s resource base.
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