…As Fashola proposes N247bn to fix Nigerian roads in 2020***
The Federal Executive Council(FEC) has approved the submission of Memorandum of Law for additional capital increase for Nigeria at the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development(IBRD).
The IBRD is a global development cooperative owned by 189 member countries.
As the largest development bank in the world, it supports the World Bank Group’s mission by providing loans, guarantees, risk management products, and advisory services to middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries, as well as by coordinating responses to regional and global challenges.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed highlighted this on Wednesday while briefing State House correspondents after the FEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
She said that prior to this period, Nigeria held 16, 187 shares at the IBRD.
The minister said that during the last meetings of the World Bank group during which the capital increase was adopted in Oct. 2018, an additional allocation of 3,230 shares was allocated to Nigeria.
Ahmed said that the total value of the shares was in the sum of 50.6 million dollars.
She said that the additional subscription by Nigeria was not just desirable but also necessary to strengthen the country’s position and enhance its voice in the global financial architecture.
“It is important also that we reported to council that Nigeria now classified by the World Bank as middle income country by reason of its GDP of over 397 billion dollars and a per capita income of 1,960 dollars per head at the end of 2018.
“This makes Nigeria qualified for a blend status in the World Bank that gives a country a leverage and enables us to access some less restricted resources of the bank both at IBRD as well as at the IDA windows.
“Subscription to these shares will enhance the future status of Nigeria as a middle income country as well as project the image of the country as a strong emerging market.
“We are required to by March, 2019 to have accepted this offer and we have since done the acceptance and we went to council today to get council’s approval to submit a memorandum of law to complete the documentation of the subscription process and council approved our prayers.’’
The minister also fielded questions from State House correspondents on funding for federal road projects.
She said that the Minister of Works and Housing had a proposed budget of N247 billion for the year 2020 as the greatest component of the budget was the fixing of Nigerian roads.
The minister said that though the Federal Government was not able to fund the budget by 100 per cent, the Ministries of Power, Works and Housing and Transportation were always given priority in the release of funds.
She said that some measures had been introduced which had seen private sector participants getting involved in road construction.
“One of these measures is the Road Infrastructure Task Credit Scheme that the President approved by Executive Order early this year so far we have 17 companies that are carrying out 19 roads across the six geo-political zones.
“I also want to remind you that for the past two years, we have issued Sukuku bonds; in 2017, it was for the construction of 25 roads. In 2018, 23 roads and there is also another one that is being processed.
“We have a lot of roads in the country but not every road you see is a responsibility of the Federal government; the major arterial roads are the ones that are the responsibility of the federal government.
“Majority of the roads in the country are within the purview and responsibility of states as well as local governments,’’ she said.
She said that while enough had not been done, efforts were being made to do more including raising special funds for roads and such other infrastructure.
Ahmed recalled that in October, when the President was submitting the budget to the National Assembly, he indicated that he had given a directive that N600 billion for capital expenditure be released.
She said that the ministry complied and had so far released the sum of N650 billion and was targeting to release up to N900 billion by December.