The Federal Government has assured Nigerians that the 2019 general elections will not undermine execution of capital projects as outlined in the budget.
It also allayed fears in certain quarters that the administration could engage in the diversion of the capital project funds for the forthcoming elections.
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, restated the commitment of government in delivering ongoing capital projects over the weekend in Abuja while representing the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, at a lecture delivered to the National Defence College (NDC) Course 26 participants.
A statement by her media assistant, Oluyinka Akintunde, quoted the minister as assuring the participants that government would retain the capital budget despite forthcoming elections in the country.
Responding to an enquiry by a member of the NDC Course 26 on the use of the capital budget for the general elections, Adeosun said: “The administration remains committed to infrastructure spending at the high levels of the past two years and the completion of major ongoing projects.”
She reiterated the commitment of the administration to its programme of transformation and jobs and wealth creation across the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, on November 7, 2017, presented a budget of N8.612 trillion to the National Assembly, with focus on massive infrastructure development which includes: key strategic roads, rail projects and power projects, among others.
Earlier at the National Defence College, the Finance Minister had delivered the Vice President’s lecture to the Course 26 participants titled “Economic Dimensions of National Security:
The Nigerian Experience.” In the speech, Osinbajo said improvement in economic security was vital to Nigeria’s economic growth, human security improvement, and realisation of national defence and security requirements. He assured that the Federal Government would continue to play a key role in ensuring national cohesion by promoting social inclusion as a key state objective.
“Economic development is a springboard for improved national security because it comes with growth which enables more resources for a growing population. “National economic development means that a country can meet its national security needs without depending on outsiders for the provision of its defence and security needs.
Depending on food and energy imports makes a nation vulnerable to external pressure,” said the vice president, who chairs the Economic Management Team (EMT) of the government. On the Social Investment Programme, Osinbajo disclosed that about 200,000 N-Power Jobs had been created under the programme while 250 million meals had been served under the Home Grown School Feeding Programme. He added that 300,000 micro loans had been issued under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme.