The federal government Tuesday said it had released and fully cash-backed a total of N1,580,270,755,084.44 for capital projects to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) for the 2017 federal budget.
The N7.44 trillion aggregate budget had a capital component of N2.36 trillion with N2.029 trillion allocated to capital projects (exclusive of FGN special intervention projects).
The federal government released N1.491 trillion to the MDAs as at May 21, 2018, leaving the unspent N538 billion to be rolled over into the 2018 budget.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, confirmed that the government had released and fully cash-backed a total of N1,580,270,755,084.44 despite the economic challenges in 2017.
The minister’s disclosure is an obvious prelude to the scheduled signing of the 2018 Appropriation Bill by President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday.
With the presidential assent, the details of the fiscal estimates are expected to be unveiled Thursday by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, and her finance counterpart, Adeosun.
The statement signed by the Director (Information) in the finance ministry, Mr. Hassan Dodo, said: “The N1,580,270,755,084.44 total capital releases for 2017 is remarkably higher than the N1,219,471,747,443.00 total capital releases for 2016.”
The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, according to the statement, received the highest allocation of N523,011,701,723.25 which was 33.10 per cent of the total capital releases.
The sector also received the highest releases in the 2016 capital budget, which was a total of N307,411,749,682.00 (25.21 per cent) of the 2016 capital budget.
Defence and Security received the second highest capital releases of N197,596,016,072.02(12.50 per cent) in 2017, as against N77,532,885,729.00 (6.36 per cent) total releases the sector received in 2016.
The statement added that Agriculture and Water Resources received a total of N149,485,276,897.37 (9.46 per cent) in 2017 as against the sector’s total receipt of N143,121,925,241.00 (11.74 per cent) in 2016.
Transportation received a total of N126,253,042,607.50 (7.99 per cent) of the 2017 capital releases as against the N171,900,597,013.00 (14.10 per cent) in 2016.
Health and Education together received a total of N98,190,277,285.69 (6.21 per cent) for 2017 as against N56,270,030,992.00 (4.61 per cent) the sectors received in 2016.
Other sectors combined received a total of N485,734,440,498.61, representing 30.74 per cent of the 2017 capital releases.
In 2016, a total of N463,234,558,786.00 (37.99 per cent) was disbursed to these sectors.
Adeosun noted that despite the economic challenges in 2017, the federal government was able to fully cash-back the capital releases.
The minister stressed that the sustained high allocations to key sectors was a reflection of the federal government’s commitment to infrastructure development in the country, adding that the Buhari administration was working assiduously to attract private capital to complement government spending in these key areas.