Release more funds for capital projects, group tells FG

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Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday called on the Federal Government to release more funds for the implementation of capital projects contained in the 2017 budget.

The chamber lamented the slow implementation of the 2017 budget, noting that there was a need for the government to make funds available to finance the budget.

It said the release of funds for capital project was critical in order to sustain the growth momentum in the economy.

The ACCI President, Mr. Tony Ejinkeonye, said that with the 2018 budget estimates already with the National Assembly, the government needed to speed up the implementation of the current year’s budget.

He said, “The chamber is of the utmost belief that the economy requires significant fiscal injections to sustain and accelerate the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan put in place by the present administration.

“With the significant investment in infrastructure, education and agriculture, among others, there is also hope that the country’s efforts in diversifying the economy, revenue and export base are to be sustained.

“The capital aspect of the 2018 budget is an indication that sizeable resources have been allocated to capital expenditure, which means more effect will be felt in this regard as compared to the previous years where only lip service was paid to the matter.”

Ejinkeonye stated that with the 2017 budget still being implemented, there was a need for clarity of purpose on when the implementation would stop if the 2018 budget was passed by the National Assembly.

He added, “As it stands today, the 2017 national budget is still under implementation and there is every tendency that it may last till June 2018, yet the President, in his wisdom, announced that the 2018 budget will commence implementation from January 2018.

“This, to the ACCI, will not only introduce some elements of confusion on the way it is carried out as it may be difficult to appropriately track each of the budgets except urgent and responsible measures are put in place to comprehensively take care of this.”

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