The Federal Government on Monday said the sum of ₦750 billion would be released this week to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the execution of some capital projects contained in the 2017 budget.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun,gave this cheering news while receiving a delegation of investors from France.
The Federal Government had initially released N450 billion.This brings to N1.2 trillion, the total money released for capital projects in the 2017 budget.
“Last year (2016), we released N1.3 trillion of capital and so far this year we have released N450 billion and this week, we will release another N750 billion and this will take the release to N1.2 trillion by the end of the year.”
She told the delegation that the infrastructure deficit in the country was huge, adding that this has provided an opportunity for investment.
Adeosun also stated that the fund is not a largess to the MDAs but meant to finance critical capital projects as contained in the 2017 budget.
The minister also restated the government commitment to improving on the level of infrastructure and provision of enabling environment for foreign investors.
“What the government is doing is to provide the enabling infrastructure that would turn potential into a reality.”
The head of the delegation, Mr. Philippe Labonne, said the investors had indicated interest to invest in key sectors of the economy such as banking, infrastructure, renewable energy, agriculture and youth empowerment.
He said the decision of the companies to invest in Nigeria was taken following a directive by the government of France for French companies to increase their investments in Nigeria.
“We are here to assess the investment environment in Nigeria to enable us to take advantage of Nigeria’s investment opportunities.”
“We have about 30 companies in this delegation in sectors such as infrastructure, services, agriculture and banking; and the purpose of this meeting is to identify key sectors where we can invest.”
Labonne, stated their readiness to invest in areas such as energy, agriculture and services, especially towards youth (development) with an assurance to identify other areas subsequently.
Labonne described the Nigerian economic environment as encouraging, considering the recent stability in the foreign exchange market.
To achieve their investment objective, Labonne said, most of the French companies would form strategic partnerships with their Nigerian counterparts.