59th Independence: Buhari Promises More Infrastructure; Power Reforms
By Olamide Fadoju
Capital Expenditure in the next three months will receive a big boost. This is because President Muhammadu Buhari has given a directive to the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to release the sum of N600 billion for use.
President Buhari made this disclosure on Tuesday in Abuja in a speech to mark Nigeria’s 59th independence anniversary.
Buhari said his administration has learnt from past mistakes and will increase investments in critical infrastructures and ensure the implementation of the 2019 Capital Budget.
“The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has been directed to release N600 billion for Capital Expenditure in the next 3 months,” President Buhari said.
“Last year, capital releases only commenced with the approval of the Budget in June 2018. However, as at 20th June this year, up to N1.74 trillion had been released for capital projects in the 2018 fiscal year.
“Implementation of the 2019 Capital Budget, which was only approved in June 2019, will be accelerated to ensure that critical priority projects are completed or substantially addressed.
He said the Federal Government will continue to welcome and encourage private capital for infrastructural development through Public-Private Partnerships and restated his government’s commitment to optimizing the revenues generated from the oil and gas sector.
In the same vein, President Buhari has warned that some consequences await any federal revenue-generating agencies that failed to achieve set revenue targets.
“Our revenue-generating and reporting agencies will come under much greater scrutiny, going forward, as the new performance management framework will reward exceptional revenue performance, while severe consequences will attend failures to achieve agreed revenue targets,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Buhari assured Nigerians reforming the power sector is a priority and his administration will ensure that the technical and collection losses in the sector are substantially reduced.
He revealed that a programme in partnership with the German government and Siemens will provide end-to-end electrification solutions that will resolve our transmission and distribution challenges.
Speaking further, President Buhari has called on all Nigerians to exercise restraint, tolerance and mutual respect in airing their grievances and frustrations adding that the abuse of technology through cybercrimes, hate speech and social media will be fought against
“Our attention is increasingly being focused on cyber-crimes and the abuse of technology through hate speech and other divisive material being propagated on social media.
“Whilst we uphold the Constitutional rights of our people to freedom of expression and association, where the purported exercise of these rights infringes on the rights of other citizens or threatens to undermine our National Security, we will take firm and decisive action”.