ANIETIE UDOBIT, NASS ABUJA
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday presented about N8.612 trillion as the 2018 Appropriation bill, which he called ‘budget of consolidation’, to a joint session of the National Assembly, saying the projected expenditure would drive rapid economic recovery.
Buhari said at the session that with a benchmark of 45 dollars per barrel at an exchange rate of N305 to a dollar in 2018, the budget would consolidate on the achievements of previous budgets to aggressively steer the economy to the path of steady growth.
“With the economic recovery made so far, it is clear that we made the right decisions. “And I urge you all to support the Federal Government’s policies towards economic recovery,’’ he said.
He said that the government would continue to develop infrastructure and increase investments in agriculture to attain food security and reduce importation. He added that while the Federal Government was committed to identifying alternative means of funding new projects, there was need to continue to pursue public private partnership, to provide more infrastructures in the country.
According to him, the Federal Government has been able to construct or rehabilitate about 776-kilometer roads in 2017, the construction of Abuja metroline had attained 98 per cent completion, adding that work had commenced on the Ajaouta-Itakpe rail line which was abandoned for 17 years.
He said that the project would be delivered in September 2018, adding that the country’s power sector would witness a turn around. “The power sector reform is still working in progress as we have increased power generation but we still have some challenges in transmission and distribution network,’’ Buhari said. He added that the Federal Government was committed to green alternative energy.