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N1.74tn disbursed for Capital Projects in 2020 –Finance minister

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Minister-of-Finance-Zainab-Ahmed

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed on Monday said the federal government had released a total sum of N1.74 trillion to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for capital expenditure as at December 2020.

She also added that government disbursed N118.37 billion for Covid-19 capital expenditure from the fund.

According to the minister, this represents an 89 percent release of the capital component of MDAs 2020 budgets.

The minister disclosed this at an interactive session with the leadership of the National Assembly on Monday, February 22, 2021 on the status of the performance of the capital component of the 2020 budget.

Ripples Nigeria had reported last year that the National Assembly extended the capital component of 2020 budget to March 31, 2021 to give the ministries full implementation of their projects.

“We are making progress, the impact of COVID-19 had interrupted the process, but we intend to have a 100 percent implementation,” Ahmed explained.

“I think the complaint was earlier in the year when we were trying to transfer the balances. As far as I know, in the past three weeks, I haven’t heard any such complaints and we have been able to address them.

Read also: Show capital projects you’ve executed with borrowed money, Obi challenges Buhari’s govt

“But when we started the transfers, we couldn’t transfer to some agencies because of some limitations in the system, but we have since been able to transfer the capital component that is being utilised by the agencies budget to the system.”

Speaking during the interaction, the Senate’s Chief Whip, Senator Orji-Uzor Kalu, commended the Minister on the capital performance of the 2020 budget.

He said, “I want to commend the minister and her team because this is the first time in the history of Nigeria that by December 31, we are having 89% performance expenditure of the budget. It has never happened before; Last year was the very first.

The budget had been going 49%, 27%; this means from what the Senate President was asking, it means by March, we should be looking at implementing the budget 100%.’’

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