The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, on Tuesday said the Federal Government had so far released N331.58 billion to Ministries of Defence and Power.
Udoma made this known at a Town Hall Meeting and Policy Dialogue for Good Governance organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in Abuja.
The meeting was organised by the ministry in collaboration with the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies with the theme: “Toward Effective Implementation of the 2016 Budget.”
The minister said the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing got bulk of the fund so far released by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
He explained that N100 billion was released to the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, while N50 billion was given to the Ministry of Defence.
Similarly, Udoma said N22 billion was released to the Ministry of Transportation, N21 billion was released to the Ministry of Agriculture, while the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs got N8.2 billion.
The minister said the destruction of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region had drastically affected the revenue generation of the country.
He said during the 2016 budget estimate, the Federal Government projected to be selling 2.2 million of barrel of crude oil per day, but that the hostilities in the region had affected such projection.
Udoma said: “We are badly affected by the disruption of oil facilities by the Niger Delta Avengers because we still rely on oil sector to finance the budget.”
The minister, however, expressed the determination of the Federal Government to achieve full budget implementation to develop the economy through partnership with the private sector and diversification.
He said the ministry had set up a measurable target for proper budget implementation, which would last for 12 months, saying: “2016 budget implementation will last up to May 2017.”
According to Udoma, there are good numbers of private investors that want to partner with the government to develop the nation’s ports.
He said: “I spoke with a good number of private investors, Non-Governmental Organisations and some State Governments so that we can partner with them and boost economic activities in the country.”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said Nigerians in the Diaspora had pledged to inject $20 billion into the Nigerian economy.
Onyeama said the ministry had embarked on very aggressive engagement with the international community in order to attract investors to the country with a view to developing the nation’s economy.