FG Assures Of Ongoing Projects Completion, Forecasts 3.5% GDP Growth

Photo Caption: Commandant of the National Defence College (NDC), Rear Admiral Adeniyi Oshinowo; Deputy Commandant, Major Gen. Peter Danke and the Representative of Vice President and Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, during a lecture delivered by the Vice President to the NDC Course 26 Participants in Abuja on Friday, February 9, 2018.

The Federal Government says it would strictly deploy the 2018 capital budget to fund infrastructural projects across the country, particularly the completion of ongoing projects
Moreso, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, believes Nigeria’s economy could grow by 3.5%, 1.4% more than the International Monetary Fund’s projection of 2.1% for the country.
Delivering a lecture to Course 26 participants of the National Defence College (NDC) on Friday in Abuja, Mrs Adeosun, who represented Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, assured that the government would retain the capital budget despite the nation’s forthcoming general elections.
Responding to an enquiry by a member of the NDC Course 26 on the use of the capital budget for the general elections, Adeosun maintained that the Muhammadu Buhari administration would not engage in diversion of funds for capital projects during the polls.
The Administration, she stressed, “remains committed to infrastructure spending at the high levels of the past two years and the completion of major ongoing projects.”
Transformation, jobs and wealth creation across the country, she continued, remain very dear to the administration, she said, recalling that in the budget of N8.612tr presented by President Buhari to the National Assembly on November 7, 2017, focus is on massive infrastructure development.
These, according to a statement by Oluyinka Akintunde, spokesman to the Finance Minister, include areas like: key strategic roads, rail and power projects, among others.
Thee Minister, who spoke on “Economic Dimensions of National Security: The Nigerian Experience,” said improvements in economic security was vital to Nigeria’s economic growth, human security improvement, and realisation of national defence and security requirements.
The Vice President also 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.
He disclosed that the administration adopted the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) as a response to the nation’s slip into recession and in its bid to restore growth and reduce vulnerability to external shocks.
The ERGP, he added, was initiated to address macroeconomic balance, increase contribution of agriculture, manufacturing, mining and high value services to the economy, besides building a competitive economy through the provision of infrastructure, and investment in the Nigerian people.
On the Social Investment Programme, Vice President Osinbajo revealed that about 200,000 N-Power Jobs had been created under the programme, while 250m 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.
“The inflation projection of 15.74% by end of 2017 was achieved and there is good reason to believe that the EGRP target of 12.42% by the end of 2018 can be achieved.
“With regard to foreign exchange reserves, the level of $40.3 billion achieved by end January is already quite close to the amount of $43.53 billion projected in the ERGP for the end of this year. Given the current state of the oil market, this is a target that can readily be achieved,” the Vice President stated.