The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved $22.995 million (N7.14billion) towards enhancing security in the nation’s maritime sector.
The minister of transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council’s meeting which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the amount was approved for the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and meant for six companies to protect six sections of the country’s coastal ways in order to enhance the security of the maritime sector.
Amaechi said, “In terms of the maritime sector, we are talking about the security on the waterways and the contract is worth $22.995 million. It was approved for six companies to protect six sections of the coastal waterways and the $22.9 million, when converted, amounts to N7.13billion.”
The minister of budget and national planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, also told the correspondents that he briefed the Council on the third quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
According to him, the Council was impressed by the NBS report which indicated that the country’s economy had witnessed steady recovery from recession.
“Today, I reported to the FEC that we have seen steady recovery from the recession period. The report indicates that the economy, when measured by real GDP, grew at 1.81 per cent in the third quarter of 2018, compared to 1.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2018.
“The FEC was particularly encouraged to note that economic growth continues to be driven by the non-oil sector which grew by 3.32 per cent in the third quarter.
“This has been the strongest growth in non-oil GDP in 12 consecutive quarters since the fourth quarter of 2015.
“By economic activity, non-oil growth was driven by transportation, electricity, telecommunication, metal oils, quarry and so on,” he said.
The minister noted that the nation’s agriculture and manufacturing sectors also grew, with agriculture growing by 1.91 per cent and manufacturing 1.92per cent., adding that these were stronger growths than in the second quarter.
“So overall, Council was encouraged by these results which showed improvement in the economy.
“It also shows that our plans are working. It equally shows that we need to intensify our economy and keep fit with our reforms through continuous implementation of the ERGP in order to continue to attract investments and set the economy on a more sustainable inclusive growth.
“The Council is encouraged by this and believes we should be able to do even better in the fourth quarter,’’ he said.
On the 2019 budget, the minister exonerated the executive arm from the delay in the submission of the budget proposal to the National Assembly.
According to him, the president is ready to present the budget any day the lawmakers are ready.
“As you already know, the budget is ready. We are liaising with the National Assembly because they are to give us a date. If they say today, we will go. The budget is ready,’’ he said. (NAN)
…FG Blames NASS For Delay in 2019 Budget Presentation
Meanwhile, the federal government has accused the National Assembly of delaying the presentation of the 2019 budget proposal by President Muhammadu Buhari to the federal legislature.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, who made federal government’s position known yesterday after the Federal Executive Council meeting at the presidential villa, Abuja, said despite the fact that the presidency had written to the National Assembly to indicate a date when it will be convenient for the president to present the budget estimates, the lawmakers were yet to respond.
Udoma, however, did not disclose the figures budgeted for 2019.
“As you already know, the budget is ready. We are liaising with the National Assembly because they are to give us a date. If they say today, we will go,” he said.
President Buhari had convened a special FEC session last Friday where the budget estimates were approved.
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