Recession deepens FG worries over 2017 budget — Minister

Written by Maritime First
  • As FEC okays $470m, N186m for FCT water projects 

The Federal Government, on Wednesday, said it was anxious to get the 2017 budget passed in order to get the economy out of the recession before the end of the year.

The Budget and National Planning Minister Udoma Udoma, while addressing State House reporters after the Federal Executive Council meeting said: “We’re determined to get the economy out of the recession before the end of this year‎. And the 2017 budget is structured to do just that. So that is why we are anxious to get the budget passed so that we can begin the implementation and begin to take all the steps we need to get the economy out of recession.”

The minister said he briefed the council on the recently released third quarter figures by the National Bureau of Statistics as well as on the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

He noted that the overall result of the third quarter was better than the projection of the International Monetary Fund.

“So, we are encouraged but we are even more energized to put in more efforts in agriculture and solid minerals to make sure that our infrastructure is revamped because that is what ‎will stimulate our economy if we continue in this way,” he stated.

Udoma emphasised that the government was determined, with the ERGP, to get the economy great again. According to him, the government, in the next three to four years, wants to restore oil production and “harvest what we can get from that sector” as well as diversify the economy by making it competitive.”

In the meantime, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved $470 million and N186 million for water projects in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

FCT Minister Mohammad Bello spoke to State House correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting chaired by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

He was with the Minister of Information Lai Mohammed and Minister of Budget and National Planning Udoma Udo Udoma.

Mohammad said the approvals were given after FEC considered three memos from his ministry.

He said: “During FEC meeting, we discussed three very important memoranda from FCT. The first one was the approval of the contract for the construction of greater Abuja water supply project at the total cost of $470 million.

“This is a very important project for the residents of the city because it aims to provide portable water to the greater part of the city and it intends to leverage on the facility that we have in the city – that is lower Osuma Dam as well as the Water treatment plant for the city which is reputed to be one of the largest on the African continent.

“As you know, water supply to the city based on the masterplan has not been able to extend to other phases of the city. The intention of this project, which is being funded by the China-Nexim Bank, is to provide water to what we called loops 1, 2, 5 and 6.

“The overall masterplan for the city has 10 loops. Already Loops three and four are currently operational, providing water to Garki, Maitama, Asokoro and Central Business District.”

He said the water would be extended to other critical areas of the city with new additional four loops.

According to him, it is a significant infrastructure project under the present administration

The project, he said, would also have impact on the wider number of population in the FCT.

The second memo, he said, was for supply of alum to serve the FCT Water Board, towards providing portable water to the city’s residents.

He said the contract amount is N186 million for the supply of 1,000 tons of alum.

“It is a very important priority for us and this supply is coming from an indigenous manufacturing company, which is in line with the Federal Government’s local content policy as well as encouraging investors that are employing labour to be able to continue in their business,” the minister said.

The third contract, he said, has to do with Wupa water treatment plant, which is an extension of contract to a period of 24 months, including its maintenance, training and retraining of competent workers.

He added that the FCT administration is working hard to improve the state of the Karishi, Orozo, Jikwoyi, Nyanya road.

Daily Trust with additional report from Nation

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