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FG Spent N1.19trn On States – Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo revealed yesterday that the federal government supported the 36 states of the federation with whopping N1.19 trillion as at September 2017.

He said the funds were made available to enable the states meet the challenges of shortage of funds for the execution of programmes in their respective states.

Osinbajo who stated this in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, during the maiden Kogi State economic and investment summit said the funds had enabled some state governments to embark on capital expenditures.

According to him, the funds were made available through the excess crude account, the Paris Club refund, and loans, among others to the states.

He explained that parts of the funds were the entitlements of the state, which they legally had access to, while some of them were loans to be repaid.

The vice president noted that the present administration had the highest capital expenditures in two years, adding that these are evident in the ongoing railway line construction, road construction and hydropower projects.

He said the summit came at a right time the country was trying to reduce its dependence on oil and increase its non-oil income by shifting focus on promotion of agriculture and the abundant solid mineral resources across the country.

Osinbajo noted that Kogi State is strategically blessed with vast mineral resources that could make it a hub of commercial activities, adding that the summit was capable of reinvigorating and inspiring the people.

On his part, the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, said the summit was packaged to change the identity of the 27-year-old state from a civil service state to an industrialised one.

He said his administration had in the last two years prepared the ground for economic and industrial breakthroughs for the state by solving the problems that had been hindering economic growth in the state.

Bello said the state was now safe for investors and investments, adding that the problem of security had been tackled.

He said, “We are changing the toga of a civil service state to an economic and commercially viable one and we want investors to collaborate with us and contribute to the prosperity of the state.

“Kogi State is now open for business. We want to be signing MoUs. I invite the private sector to collaborate with us in our bid to develop the state. Kogi State is for serious business”.

The minister of solid minerals development, Dr Kayode Fayemi, in his presentation, said the bulk of the revenue of Kogi State should be internally generated based on the abundant mineral resources in the state.

He however said mining was not a business that should be tied to the tenure of any executive, as it is a long-term investment that outlives the maximum two-term tenure of any executive.


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