Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has disclosed that a sum of N350 billion capital votes will be released immediately into the system as the Federal Government continues to tackle the economic crisis currently facing the nation.
The minister, who spoke at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, said the current administration is not backing down on its decision to stimulate the economy.
“With the N350 billion to be released, next week, the federal government would have released the total sum of N770 billion for capital projects this year, having released N420 billion thus far in 2016,” she said.
She explained that the bulk of the money so far released went into on-going projects, especially works, defence, transportation, interior, power and agriculture.
The minister also disclosed that the administration was working on raising $1 billion Eurobond. The proceeds for this would be used only for capital projects.
Giving further clarifications on the Eurobond issue, Director-General, Debt Management Office (DMO), Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, said, “We intend to raise the money before the year ends. In terms of the progress made so far, more than five weeks ago we put out advertisements for Request For Proposals in local and international media, following due process so that we can allow transaction partners who are interested to compete.
“The closing date of the RFPs is September 19, 2016 and immediately after that we will execute the process of vetting and selection. “We have a directive to make sure we use minimum time to conclude all these activities. So we assure you that we are going to cut the time because of the emergency situation. Before the middle of December, we will have the money. We are very focused on the fact that these monies are needed urgently to turn around the economy and we are working on that.”
On the issue of bidding process and open procurement, the minister explained that what is needed is a balance between speed and transparency, saying that is why we are engaging the National Assembly to support our request to truncate the process.
“We are already talking to members of the National Assembly, explaining to them why this is necessary so that when we release money, it is not just going to be sitting in the TSA account but it will actually be going down into contractors and appropriately utilised,” she stated.