BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed on Wednesday said that of the N 650 billion so far released for capital projects in the 2019 budget by the Federal Government, the ministries of Works, Housing, Power and Transportation had so far received the highest releases.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola last week said that poor funding was the reason road projects were not executed at an expected faster pace in the country.
But the minister of Finance said after the Federal Executive Council meeting that; “Works is always on the priority list, just as Housing is always funded as well as the ministries of Transportation and Power,” adding however that though that are revenue challenges.
Ahmed further said that about N650bn has so far been released for capital projects in the 2019 budget, stressing that the figure surpassed the N600 billon that President Muhammadu Buhari directed to be released as of October.
She further said; “Works is always on the priority list. Housing is always funded, same with Transportation and Power.”
Ahmed noted that the Federal Government issued a number of Sukuk Bonds targeted at generating money to fund road projects, adding however that not all roads are Federal Government roads.
According to her; “Majority of bad roads belonged to the various state governments.”
The Finance minister said that Nigeria’s shares at the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development has risen to the value of $50.6million, saying that the country accepted the offer since March this year and had briefed the Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
She said that with the development, Nigeria’s rating before global finance institutions has improved.