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FEC approves 2017 budget estimate, says only N800b released on 2016 budget

Contrary to earlier comments by some top federal officials that government has released over N1tn into the economy as part of 2016 budget, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma has disclosed that due to liquidity squeeze, only N800bn had been released to run the economy.

This formed part of explanations he gave at the end of Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday.

He also disclosed that the approved 2017 budget proposal is ready for onward submission to the National Assembly for final approval.

The meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, approved document would soon be presented to the National Assembly by President Buhari after consultations with the leadership of the Assembly.

Udoma said “The budget has been approved by the Federal Executive Council, the details, of course, will be revealed when the President presents the budget to the National Assembly.

“With regard to the date, the President will be communicating with the National Assembly and off course, it will be at the National Assembly’s discretion ultimately.

“So, the president will write to them and it is after they confirm, then the president can come to address them,’’ he said.

On the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), the minister stated that the document was prepared after extensive consultation with stakeholders.

He stated that his ministry would continue to ensure regular briefing on the state of the 2016 budget implementation, saying that 80 per cent of the capital allocation of the budget had been released.

Also, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, who also addressed correspondents, disclosed that the council had approved the construction of Federal Secretariat Complex in Ekiti State.

He said the council approved the furnishing of the Federal Secretarial, Gombe State, hinting that FEC also approved the Business case for the concession of some Small Hydro dams to achieve Incremental Power supply across the country, adding that the small hydro dams would be adequately utilized.

Fashola disclosed further that “The other matter we considered, off course, was in furtherance of our Incremental Power Initiative and our Rural Electrification Initiative and this was in respect to small hydro dams.

“This can help us get more energy, especially to rural areas to support farming; to support irrigation; to support water supply and off course rural electrification.

“So, Council approved the Business Case for concessioning and development of Ikere Gorge dam (Oyo) for 6 megawatts of electricity, Bakolori dam (Zamfara) for 3.2megawatts of electricity; and Jibiya dam (Katsina State) for 4megawatt.

“Zobe dam 0.2 megawatts and Kpape Omi in Kogi dam for 2 megawatts of electricity and Doma dam (Nasarawa) for 1 megawatt of hydroelectricity,” he said.