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The federal government Tuesday sheds more lights on mechanisms for funding her N8.6 trillion 2018 appropriation budget in respect to road construction, expansion and maintenance across the country which over N295 billion is appropriated for.
This is, as it hinted that consumption of alcoholic drinks and tobacco products attract higher exercise duty next fiscal year in a bid to ramp up more earnings from non- oil sources.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma said yesterday in Abuja at 2018 public presentation of 2018 budget breakdown.
While admitting that the N295 billion is inadequate and paltry amount to fix roads across the country, he said the amount excludes contribution by the private sector.
” Works are in progress in many of these roads as most them are in 2017 budget. N300 billion is not sufficient, but we are using Public Private Partnerships ( PPPs) and private investors will bring their contributions. To fix Nigeria’s road requires trillion naira budget “, he said.
Some of the Nigeria’s road listed in 2018 budget for construction and rehabilitation include, Lagos- Shagamu- Ibadan dual carriageway, Ilorin- Jebba- Mokwa- Bokani road, Abuja- Abaji road and Kano- Maiduguri road. Others are, Enugu- Port- Harcourt dual carriageway, Odukpani- itu- ikot Ekpene road, Sokoto – Tambuwal- jega- Kontagora- makera road; dualization of Obajana junction to Benin, Calabar- Ugep- Kastina Ala road, Onitsha- Enugu dual carriageway, Abuja- Kaduna- Zaria- kano dua carriageway way.
Udoma said the government has taken bold initiatives towards maximizing its revenue from oil to non- oil sources inline with provisions of Economic Recovery and Growth plan ( ERGP).
The government, the Minister added will review the Fiscal Responsibility Act to enforce fiscal discipline on erring Ministries, Department and Agencies ( MDAs) of government, that are in habit of pocketing their revenue and remit pittance to government coffers.
” We have taken on board some of key reforms initiative contained in ERGP in 2018 budget, e.g deployment of new technology to improve revenue collection, upward review of tariffs and tax rates where appropriate tighter performance management framework for State Owned Enterprises ( SOEs)”, he said.
The Minister said government clearly mapped out projections for improved revenue earnings to execute the N8.6 trillion budget.
He said government intends to sell some power assets and other related as part of outline plans to fund the budget.
” A total of N306 billion is expected from the privatisation of and N5 billion from sale of other government’s property to part finance the deficit “, Minister of budget explained.
Other areas of reform initiative with a view to improving revenue collection in 2018 fiscal budget as itemised by the Minister include, new funding mechanism for Joint Venture ( JV) operations, allowing for cost recovery in lieu of previous cash call arrangement; additional oil- related revenue like royalty recovery, new/ marginal Field licences; early licencing renewals, forward sale arrangements of government’s share of future oil production, as well as NLNG dividends to improve liquidity and external position as well as reviewing fiscal regime for oil production sharing contracts.
Other priority projects of federal government in 2018 include power, where government set aside N9.8 as counterpart fund for the Mambilla hydropower project, N12 billion counterpart funding also earmarked for transmission lines and substations; N2.8 billion for the construction of 215 MW LPFO/ gas power station in Kaduna and N4 billion for Kashimbilla transmission.
In health sector , federal government in 2018 plans to invest N6 billion as strategic joint venture investments in selected tertiary health institutions with Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority ( NSIA), another N9 billion for procurement of RI vaccines and devices, N3.5 billion for counterpart funding including global fund, health and GAVI N1 billion for health emergencies and contagious diseases outbreaks ( meningitis, measles, yellow fever, monkeypox ,etc); N1 billion allocated for midwives service scheme, N1.2 billion for eradication of polio initiative.
On transportation, in 2018 federal government is providing a counterpart funding in the sum of N162.28 billion for various projects including ongoing Lagos- Kano railway project, Calabar- Lagos, Ajaokuta- Itakpe ongoing railway project. Others are, Port- Harcourt – Maiduguri ( new), Kano- Katsina- Jibya- Maradi in the Niger Republic ( new), Abuja- Itakpe and Aladja( warri)- Warri Port and refinery including Warri New Harbour ( new). N2.03 billion construction of a terminal building at Enugu Airport, N8.32 billion construction of second run- way of Nnamidi Azikwe international airport, Abuja.
In mines and steel development, N2.1 billion is earmarked for consessioning of Ajoakuta steel company, N544 million for the establishment of mega regulatory agency for the sector, N450 million for reclamation of abandoned mines sites.
For agriculture and rural development, the sum of N6.75 billion is earmarked for construction of the rural roads and water sanitation program, N25.1 billion for promotion and development of value chain across 30 different commodities; N5.30 billion for National Grazing Reserve Development and N4 billion for agribusiness and market development.
In the housing sector, the government in 2018 set aside in next budget N35.41 billion for the National Housing program. The Water Resources ministry is allocated N3.5 billion for zobe water supply project phase 1&2, another N2 billion for Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene ( PEWASH), N1 billion for special intervention for North East and IDPs- portable water, and over N50 billion for water supply, rehabilitation of dams and irrigation projects nationwide.
Senator Udoma stated that, ” our journey out of economic recession has helped us reset our priorities and to focus more on reforms and activities that have both short- and long-term bearings on sustainable economic growth “.
Continuing he said, ” inline with ERGP, we are seeking derivable benefits from oil by restructuring our equity in JV oil assets while we intensify our efforts at accelerating economic diversification and non-oil revenue generation. Already, diversification efforts are yielding positive results with significant growth in non- oil sector “.
In attendance at a public presentation of budget breakdown are, Minister of state for budget, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, Minister of finance Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, that of education Adamu Adamu, Minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, Minister of state for Mines and Steel Development Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari among others.
President Muhammadu Buhari last Tuesday presented 2018 budget proposal of N8.612 trillion. It comprised aggregate expenditure in the following: recurrent costs of N3.494 trillion; debt Service N2.014trillion; statutory transfers of about N456billion; sinking fund of N220 billion (to retire maturing bond to Local Contractors);
Capital expenditure of N2.428 trillion (excluding the capital component of statutory transfers).
He told National Assembly members that, ” N456.46 billion was provided in the 2018 budget for statutory transfers. The 5 percent increase over last year’s provision is mainly due to increases in transfer to Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), which are related directly to the size of oil revenue”.