Still shopping for a sustainable healing barm for the nation’s troubled economy, the Federal Government has so far released N2.5 trillion from the N6.06 trillion 2016 budget, Minister of Budget and National Planning Udoma Udo has said.
Also answering questions from the Senate Committee on Appropriation on Thursday, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun explained that N753 billion was for capital projects while N117 billion went into statutory transfer.
The Minister explained that N135 billion was for service wide; N108 billion was for over head; consolidated pensions got N142 billion and personnel N1.2 trillion.
The Minister said: “The process of recovering looted funds is an ongoing process. Money comes on daily basis. We have not recovered much from foreign countries. It is a little more difficult.”
Adeosun revealed that over 700, 000 new companies had been brought into the tax net, adding that the development would increase the country’s revenue considerably.
The Minister said: “Right now, we are not seeing the numbers but we believe that revenue collection is a function of data. And as far as they are getting more and more companies into the net, as the economy improves, our tax revenues will improve and we will be less dependent on oil, which is one of our stated objectives.
“All the local borrowing has been undertaken in the local market and we have been utilising that money. The foreign borrowing, we had anticipated towards the second and third quarters of the year. The China-Exim funding, we are waiting for the finalisation of the contract agreement on the rail because those are project-tied.
“The budget support which we are applying to the African Development Bank for, we have completed negotiations this month and we are expecting to complete that transaction this coming month.
“The Eurobond, we have finished the procurement process for the advisers. We are waiting for No Objection Certificate from the BPP. We hope to get that within a week or so and going out to the market and close that before the end of the year.
“The international markets are quite favourable at the moment for borrowing. The rates are low, many jurisdictions actually have negative interest rate. So, there has been quite a lot of anticipation of the Nigerian Eurobond offer.
“We continue to emphasise that these borrowings are for capital projects and we are expecting that those projects will help us increase our revenues to enable us to pay back. We are being very prudent with our debt strategy.”