President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to release the sum of N600 billion for capital projects in the next 3 months.
The President made the disclosure in his Independence Broadcast to the nation on Tuesday.
Buhari said his administration is committed to responsibly managing the nation’s oil wealth endowments, noting that this has prompted increased investments in critical infrastructure.
“We will continue to prudently save our oil income and invest more in the non-oil job-creating sectors.
“In this regard, we are significantly increasing investments in critical infrastructure. Last year, capital releases only commenced with the approval of the Budget in June 2018. However, as at 20th June this year, up to N1.74 trillion had been released for capital projects in the 2018 fiscal year.
“Implementation of the 2019 Capital Budget, which was only approved in June 2019, will be accelerated to ensure that critical priority projects are completed or substantially addressed.
“The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has been directed to release N600 billion for Capital Expenditure in the next 3 months.
“To maximise impact, we shall continue to increasingly welcome and encourage private capital for infrastructural development through Public Private Partnerships. Through the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, which I initiated in January this year, we are giving incentives to private sector inflow of over N205 billion in 19 Nigerian roads and bridges of 794.4km across in 11 States of the Federation.
“As we push to diversify the economy, we still remain focused on optimizing the revenues generated from the oil and gas sector.
“We will, working with the Legislature, soon pass the Petroleum Industry Bill and amendments to the Deep Offshore Act and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act into law, to ensure Government obtains a fair share of oil revenues, whilst encouraging private sector investment,” he stated.
The President restated his administration’s commitment to fighting the scourge of illegal bunkering of oil and the smuggling of refined petroleum products across the country’s borders.
He added that there will be diligent prosecution and conviction of offenders found guilty of these acts.
“Whilst Nigeria remains committed to free and fair continental and international trade, we will not hesitate to take all necessary steps to tackle illegal smuggling, transshipment and other predatory trade practices that destroy jobs in our country,” Buhari said.