Why FG Is Yet To Disburse N350b Economic Stimulus Package
Some federal government agencies are slowing down the process of injection of N350billion into the economy, an investigation by The Nation has revealed.
The fund injection is a major plank of government’s plan in the 2016 budget to reinvigorate the economy.
The process was set in motion two weeks ago but it was gathered that while the Ministry of Finance is set to fulfill its own part of the deal, some agencies which are expected to act as channels of disbursement are yet to put their acts together.
A source familiar with the development said: “Only part of the funds has been released; several of the disbursing agencies ought to have commenced certain work even before the budget was signed but they delayed in doing so.
“They ought to outline the procurement processes, advertise for tenders and arrange for bidding process but many are only just doing that now. It is only when they conclusively meet all the conditions that we can be sure of proper transparency and accountability. Thus their delay has held back expectations of speedy disbursement.”
The source who declined to mention the names of the affected government agencies however said that the N350 billion would be released in accordance with the Buhari administration’s economic stimulus objectives, once the coast is clear from the end of the affected agencies.
Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun, two months ago announced the plan to inject N350 billion as stimulus into the economy which has been facing a severe crisis occasioned by falling oil prices.
Expenditures on capital projects and job creation are key areas where the Minister expects the funds to make appreciable positive impact.
She said: “From the Federal Ministry of Finance, in anticipation of the approval of the budget, we have virtually lined up about N350billion which we would be pumping into the Nigerian economy in the forthcoming months.
“We explained our rationale and the processes that we have put in place, safeguards to ensure that this money actually achieve the desired objective, which is to stimulate the economy.
“We are already discussing with some of the contractors who will be paid these monies and the objectives from the overall criteria are how many Nigerians would be re-engaged.
“We are specifically looking at contractors who have laid-off staff and how many Nigerians are you going to put back to work as a result of this money that we are planning to release. We believe this would bring significant economic activity.”