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FG sets aside N185bn for new initiatives

Buhari presented the 2017 budget proposal of N7.3tr to the National Assembly on December 14, 2016.

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President Muhammadu Buhari presents 2017 budget to National Assembly on December 14, 2016 play

President Muhammadu Buhari presents 2017 budget to National Assembly on December 14, 2016

(The Cable)

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, said in Abuja the Federal Government had earmarked N185 billion in the 2017 budget for new initiatives.

Udoma announced this at Public Presentation of the 2017 Budget Proposals in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari presented the budget proposal of N7.30 trillion to the National Assembly on Dec. 14.

The minister identified the initiatives as the Social Housing Programme; Special Economic Zone Projects; Export-Expansion Grant; and Recapitalisation of the Bank of Industry.

He said "Some of the new initiatives are the provision of the N100 billion for new Social Housing Programme which the aim is to create a one trillion Fund. The government contribution is N900 billion.

“Fifty (50) billion for Special Economic Zone Projects. The Minister of Investment has indicated that what is actually required is about N200 billion. So, the rest will from the private sector.

“It is going to be Public Private Partnership (PPP), we are going to partner with private sector to get them to contribute toward building this Special Economic Zone Projects.

“Our aim to stimulate export has led us to the revival of the EEG (Export-Expansion Grant). This time in form of the tax credit and we voted 20 billion for that.

“Also, we intend to recapitalise Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture and we voted 15 billion for that.’’

Udoma said that the new initiative would support economic diversification and inclusive in the government’s growth- drive.

He said that the thrust of the budget was to partner with the private sector and development capital to leverage and catalyse resources for growth.

The minister said that much of the capital provision would be directed at the projects which would facilitate economic growth, diversification and competiveness.

Other areas of focus, he said, would be to improve ease of doing business, jobs and social inclusion, and improved governance and security.

He said “The spending focus will be on critical economic sectors that have quick transformative potentials such as infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing, solid minerals, services and social development,” he stated.

NAN reports that the president said that N2.24 trillion, representing 30.7 per cent of the 2017 budget, would be committed to capital expenditure, aimed at pulling the economy out of recession as quickly as possible.

Buhari said the capital expenditure was increased from N1.8 trillion in 2016 to N2.24 trillion in 2017.

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The President also announced N2.98 trillion as recurrent expenditure for the 2017 fiscal year.

He said, having reviewed the trends in the global oil industry, the government decided to set a benchmark of 42.5 dollars per barrel and a production estimate of 2.2 million barrels per day for the 2017 fiscal year.

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