Nigeria’s president, Mohammadu Buhari has disclosed that the sum of N1.64 trillion was released to states and local governments between 2015 and 2017 for polity stabilization.
President Buhari who made this statement during his broadcast in commemoration of Nigeria’s 57th independence anniversary said that the federal government released the funds to “pay outstanding salaries, pensions and small business suppliers who had been all but crippled over the years”.
He added that N200 billion, N441 billion and N1 trillion was released to states in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively for payment of outstanding salaries, pensions and small business suppliers.
Buhari further stated that the federal government was increasing its investment in the power sector, adding that power remains a huge problem despite the fact that energy production had reached an all-time high of 7,001 Megawatts as of Sept 12.
His words: “We hope to reach 10,000 Megawatts by 2020. Key priorities include better energy mix through solar and hydro technologies. I am glad to say that after many years of limbo, Mambilla Power Project has taken off’’.
He further disclosed that a new presidential initiative would be inaugurated soon with the aid of CBN’s development finance initiatives. “The initiative would create a minimum of 10,000 jobs for unemployed youths across 36 states of the federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT)”, he said.
He added that about 200,000 farmers across the federation have benefitted from the N43.9 billion federal government’s agricultural Anchor Borrowers Programme which was inaugurated in November, 2015.
His words: “The amount was released to the farmers through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and 13 participating institutions. The programme involved 233,000 hectares of farmland, cultivating eight commodities, namely Rice, Wheat, Maize, Cotton, soya-beans, Poultry, Cassava and Groundnuts, in addition to fish farming.
“These initiatives have been undertaken in close collaboration with the states. I wish to commend the efforts of the governors of Kebbi, Lagos, Ebonyi and Jigawa States for their support to rice and fertilizer revolutions.
“Equally commendable are contributions of the governors of Ondo, Edo, Delta, Imo, Cross River, Benue, Ogun, Kaduna and Plateau states for their support for the Presidential initiative for palm oil, rubber, cashew, cassava, potatoes and others crops. With the abundance of rainfall last year and this year, agriculture has enjoyed divine intervention”.