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Kemi Adeosun Finance Minister says second tranche of capital budget is set for release

Adeosun said her ministry announced the release of the N350 billion after a report surfaced last week that the ministry kept mum on the release of the funds.

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Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun

(The Whistler)

The Ministry of Finance is set to release the second tranche of the N2.1 trillion capital expenditure for the 2017 budget.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, disclosed this to newsmen at the State House in Abuja.

She said the first release of N336 billion from the capital budget was made in August soon after the government announced its readiness to release N350 billion.

Afterwards, the federal government released N336 billion, leaving a balance of N14 billion.

The balance is now being processed for release, the minister said.

Adeosun said her ministry announced the release of  the N350 billion after a report surfaced last week that the ministry kept mum on the release of the funds shortly after the budget was signed by the then acting President Yemi Osinbajo in June.

Also last week, the minister was summoned by the Senate to appear before it along with the Minister of Budget and National Planning over the perceived poor implementation of the 2017 budget.

She explained that the budget's implementation was predicated on the release of funds on a quarterly basis.

The minister, however, did not mention specifically when  the next tranche would be released.

Adeosun said, "The 2017 budget was signed in June and we released N336 billion in August. I only made a statement yesterday in response to a misleading report by the press.

"That money was actually released in August and we are on course, getting set for the next set of releases. We are on course. There is always three months of the budget.

"If you work from June, the first quarter of the budget is over. So it’s the next quarter that we are getting set for. There is really no problem at all about releases. We are on course.

"Even with the fiscal challenges we have, we are committed to infrastructure expenditure that will get the economy out of the recession and indeed on the path of growth and we will continue with that.

"So the statement was only released because of the confusion that no money was released.

"We had said in the beginning that we had N350 billion and it was on the day that we said we had N350 billion that we started releasing it but there was misinformation (in the press) and the other N14 billion is being processed."

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Osinbajo had in June said that the 2017 Appropriation Bill was designed to complement the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) with the aim of stimulating economic recovery.

He listed the priorities of the budget to include: macroeconomic stability, agricultural growth, energy sufficiency, improved transport infrastructure and industrialisation through support for Medium Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

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