SAN FRANCISCO, February 12, (THEWILL) – The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has declared that capital votes in the 2018 Appropriation Bill would be strictly deployed to fund infrastructural projects by the Federal Government.
A statement signed by her media aide, Mr. Oluyinka Akintunde, said the Minister allayed the fears at the weekend in Abuja while representing the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, at a lecture delivered to the National Defence College (NDC) Course 26 participants.
She told those expressing fears that such funds may be diverted to other uses to perish the thought, saying that the era of funding elections with votes meant for capital projects was gone for good adding that government would retain the capital projects despite the general elections next year.
THEWILL recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari, had on November 7, 2017, presented a budget of N8.612 trillion to the National Assembly, with a focus on massive infrastructure development including: strategic roads, rail and power projects.
Responding to an enquiry by a member of the National Defence College (NDC) Course 26 on the use of the capital budget for the general elections, Mrs. Adeosun maintained that diverting funds meant for capital projects for election purposes was not on the card of the administration of President Buhari.
She disclosed that going forward, capital votes would be strictly applied to fund infrastructural projects, particularly the completion of ongoing projects and reiterated the administration’s commitment to its programme of transformation, jobs and wealth creation.
In the address read by Adeosun, she said the improvement in economic security was vital to Nigeria’s economic growth, human security improvement and realisation of national defence and security requirements.
“The administration remains committed to infrastructure spending at the high levels of the past two years and the completion of major ongoing projects,” she stated.
“Economic development is a springboard for improved national security because it comes with growth which enables more resources for a growing population.
“National economic development means that a country can meet its national security needs without depending on outsiders for the provision of its defence and security needs.
“Depending on food and energy imports makes a nation vulnerable to external pressure.
“The inflation projection of 15.74% by end of 2017 was achieved and there is good reason to believe that the EGRP target of 12.42 per cent by the end of 2018 can be achieved.
“With regard to foreign exchange reserves, the level of $40.3 billion achieved by end January is already quite close to the amount of $43.53 billion projected in the ERGP for the end of this year. Given the current state of the oil market, this is a target that can readily be achieved.”