Nigerian Govt needs N7 trillion to complete 6,294 projects

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Finance Minister of Niger...

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Finance Minister of Nigeria, 2003-2006; Managing Director of the World Bank, December 2007-present of May 2010), at the 2004 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WITH over 6,294 ongoing projects by 30 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the country would need about N7 trillion to complete its developmental schemes, the Budget Office has revealed.

The Federal Government yesterday said efforts to streamline the multiplicity of MDAs were on-going as the names of the review board members would be released within the next 10 days, noting that no new project would be accommodated in the 2013 budget.

Besides, the Co-ordinating Minister of Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, disclosed at a consultative meeting with the organised private sector and civil society organisations on the Federal Government 2013 budget tagged “Charting the way forward for inclusive growth”, in Lagos yesterday that with the rising debt profile of the nation, amidst the Euro zone crisis, it may be difficult for the nation to get foreign aid if it slipped into another debt crisis.

She added that though the nation’s debt profile was sustainable when aggregated against the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) level, it might become unsustainable if the domestic debt was not monitored and reduced, noting that there was need to increase the foreign reserves to $50 billion and shore up the excess crude account from the existing $5.8 billion to $10 billion in order to be effectively shielded from another debt crisis.

The Director-General, Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogu, noted that with over N404 billion already released for capital expenditure as at the end of the second quarter, with about 31 per cent implementation rate, some MDAs with large debts may not receive new allocations in the 2013 budget.

According to her, although efforts are being made to ensure that the sinking fund is effectively managed, with the nation’s domestic debt profile standing at N5.9 trillion, it has become expedient for the nation to slow down domestic borrowing and diversify its earnings as current interest rates continue to widen the debt net.

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IMAGES: http://www.guardian.co.uk/

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