The Minister of Finance/National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has said that of the N650bn so far released for capital projects in the 2019 budget, ministries of works, housing, power and transportation had so far received the highest releases.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, had said that poor funding was the reason road projects were not executed at a faster pace in the country.
However, Ahmed explained that, “Works is always on the priority list; housing is always funded, same are transportation and power, though we have revenue challenges.”
The finance minister said on Wednesday that up to N650bn had so far been released for capital projects in the 2019 budget, noting that the figure had surpassed the N600bn that President Muhammadu Buhari directed to be released as of October.
Ahmed spoke with State House Correspondents on Wednesday, after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja.
“Works is always on the priority list; housing is always funded, same are transportation and power, though we have revenue challenges,” she said.
The minister also recalled that the government issued a number of Sukuk Bonds targeted at generating money to fund road projects.
However, she noted that not all roads were federal government roads, adding that the majority of bad roads belonged to the various state governments.
Meanwhile, Ahmed disclosed that Nigeria’s shares at the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development had risen to the value of $50.6m.
The minister said the country accepted the offer since March this year and had briefed the council at Wednesday meeting.
With the development, Ahmed said, “Nigeria’s rating before global finance institutions has improved.”