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Fashola’s ministry gets largest share

The Ministry of Works, Power and Housing got the highest allocation of N555.88 billion in the proposed 2018 budget, or a quarter of the total…

The Ministry of Works, Power and Housing got the highest allocation of N555.88 billion in the proposed 2018 budget, or a quarter of the total capital vote.

The budget estimate of N8.61 trillion is made up of N3.49 trillion for recurrent and N2.41 trillion for capital expenditure.

It was presented to a joint session of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday.

The budget which is 16 percent higher than last year’s is based on crude benchmark of $45 per barrel, an estimated daily production of 2.3 million barrels and exchange rate of N305 to one dollar.

Titled budget of “consolidation’’ it is geared towards economic recovery and growth.

The Ministry of Transport got the second highest allocation of  N263.10bn. Others are special intervention programmes, N150.00bn; Defence N145bn; Agriculture and Rural Development, N118.98bn; Water Resources, N95.11bn; Industry, Trade and Investment, N82.92bn, and Interior, N63.26bn.

Others are Education, N61.73bn; Universal Basic Education Commission, N109.06bn; Health: N71.11bn; Federal Capital Territory, N40.30bn; Zonal Intervention (constituency) projects, N100.00bn; North East Intervention Fund, N45.00bn; Niger Delta Ministry, N53.89bn and Niger Delta Development Commission, N71.20 billion.

The President said other key projects and programmes to be implemented in 2018 are N9.8bn for the Mambilla Hydro-Power project, including N8.5 billion as counterpart funding; N12bn counterpart funding for transmission lines and substations; N35.41bn for the National Housing Programme; N10bn for the 2nd Niger Bridge and about N300bn for the construction and rehabilitation of some strategic roads.

Buhari also said in the next fiscal year, the Federal Government would establish seven tertiary health institutions across the country through partnership with Sovereign Wealth Fund and other private sector investors.

The President said substantial part of the recurrent vote is for the payment of salaries and overheads in key ministries providing critical public services such as N510.87bn for interior; N435.01bn for education; N422.43bn for defence, and N269.34bn for health.

He said debt servicing will cost N2.014trn; statutory transfers, N456bn and sinking fund, N220bn,” he said.

“To maintain peace and security in the Niger Delta for economic and social activities to thrive, N65 billion has been provided for the Presidential Amnesty Programme. 

The Ministry of Niger Delta vote has been increased to N53.89 billion from the N34.20 billion in 2017.

He said that the government would complete all critical projects in the region including the East-West Road, which has a provision of about N17.32 billion in 2018.

“Across the nation, and particularly in the North East region, our commitment to the security of life and property remains absolute. We will ensure that our gallant men and women in arms are properly equipped and well-motivated. The result of our efforts is evident in the gradual return to normalcy in the North East.”

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