FG releases N280b for capital projects

The Federal Government on Tuesday said it has released N280 billion for the implementation of capital projects captured in the 2016 budget.

The money is part of the N350 billion promised by the government to fund capital projects in the country.

Six key ministries – Works, Housing and Power, Agriculture, Interior, Education, Information and Environment, have been captured in the first phase of the funds.

The government stated that the money was for projects that had already been scrutinized and ongoing.

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, said the names of 60 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have been sent to the Federal Ministry of Finance for approval.

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She stated that the released funds would be used to carry out specific projects, adding that government would not release money for any new projects.

Zainab, who said this at a one day workshop for the review and implementation of the 2016 budget in Abuja on Tuesday, added that another batch of about 30 MDAs where the screening process had been concluded would be sent to the finance ministry on Wednesday.

The event was organized by a civic technology organization, BudgIT Nigeria.

She said: “The release of the N350 billion is ongoing but of course, as I presented, we were not releasing budgets based on one quarter allocation. We needed to scrutinize the process. It took some time but we have sent about N280 billion for projects that have been scrutinized.

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“As I said earlier on, the release will be done for specific projects. Our concentration was on projects that are ongoing, except for a few exceptional circumstances; we are not releasing funds for any new projects.

“We have reviewed their projects, approved them and have sent them to the ministry of finance.

“We have sent to the ministry of finance up to about 50 or 60 MDAs, but I can tell you that Works, Housing and Power, Agriculture, Interior, Education, Information and Environment are part of the ministries that we have sent to the finance ministry.

“There are about 60 MDAs already in the first batch. We have another batch of about 30 where the screening process had been concluded and we should be able to send that today (Tuesday) or tomorrow (Wednesday).”

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