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Economy needs more release of funds for capital projects to situate—Experts

Considering the near squeeze currently hitting the economy, the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has called on the Federal Government to pump more funds for the implementation of capital projects contained in the 2017 budget.

According to the group, non-release of such massive funds which is expected to spread out in the economy, will jerk up economic activities and further create more jobs.

The chamber lamented the slow implementation of the 2017 budget, noting that there was a need for the government to make funds available to finance the budget.

While arguing that release of funds for capital project was critical in sustaining growth momentum that will further consolidate the ailing economy, the President of ACCI, Mr. Tony Ejinkeonye, said with the 2018 budget estimates already with the National Assembly, the government needed to speed up the implementation of the current year’s budget.

“The chamber is of the utmost belief that the economy requires significant fiscal injections to sustain and accelerate the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan put in place by the present administration.

“With the significant investment in infrastructure, education and agriculture, among others, there is also hope that the country’s efforts in diversifying the economy, revenue and export base are to be sustained.

“The capital aspect of the 2018 budget is an indication that sizeable resources have been allocated to capital expenditure, which means more effect will be felt in this regard as compared to the previous years where only lip service was paid to the matter.”

Continuing, Ejinkeonye expressed worry, saying “As it stands today, the 2017 national budget is still under implementation and there is every tendency that it may last till June 2018, yet the President, in his wisdom, announced that the 2018 budget will commence implementation from January 2018”.

He therefore called for early clarification that will guide in the running of this year and next year budget to avoid collusion capable of causing duplications.