Procurement Process Stalling Injection Of N350bn Into Economy – FG

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Minister of Budget and National Planning-Udoma Udo UdomaThe federal government yesterday blamed public procurement process for delays in the release of N350 billion meant to stimulate the ailing economy to the path of recovery.
The federal government had announced in March that the money, which is intended to revive significant activities, would be injected into the economy.
But over two months after the announcement was made, nothing was heard of the N350 billion economy stimulant package until Wednesday when the Budget and National Planning Minister, Senator Udo Udoma, addressed State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting.
Flanked by his Information and Culture counterpart, Lai Mohammed, Udoma stressed the need to fast track the public procurement process so that the economy can pick up.
According to the minister, Nigerians will start to feel the impact of the 2016 Budget from the third quarter of this year.
He also disclosed that Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have been urged to fast track the processes for the capital budgets to quickly reflate the economy.
He said: “As for the N350 billion, the money is available but there is a process and this is part of the reasons we briefed council and there is need to fast track those processes so that very soon most of those monies will be released. We expect in the Ministry of Works, they should have quite substantial release in the next week or so.
“It’s easier for us for existing projects but new projects are a bit more difficult because of the public procurement. The public procurement you have to advertise and you have to wait for six weeks and so on. So new projects will take a bit longer.
“But existing projects that have already gone through the public procurement process will be faster and I believe that you will soon start seeing the impact of those releases”.
On whether no part of the N350 billion has been released, he said: “I didn’t say that but I said you will be seeing a lot more releases”.
Pressed to disclose the level of release, Udoma said: “we will be giving numbers from time to time. So I’m sure within the week we should be able to give you numbers”.

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