By Benjamin Umuteme
The federal government spent N1.3 trillion on capital projects in 2016, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has disclosed.
The Vice Pressident, who made the disclosure during the foundation laying ceremony of the N200 billion Benin Industrial Park located at Iyanomo, also said that despite the 60 per cent drop in foreign exchange earnings, the government still achieved a lot.
In the 2016 budget, the federal government set aside N1.75 trillion for capital expenditure.
Prof. Osinbajo stressed that when completed the industrial park would produce a network of 600,000 industrial outputs as well as provide jobs for 170,000 direct and indirect workers.
According to the vice president, the industrial park and other parks that would be established would help bridge Nigeria’s infrastructure gap.
“We have unveiled our economic recovery and growth plan. We clearly spelt out the adoption of industrial park and special economic zone as policy tool to generate growth and diversify the Nigerian economy. The industrial park would help us bridge the infrastructural gap, develop targeted sector and can be used as testing ground for broader economic reform initiative,” he said.
Osibanjo noted that Nigeria’s growth and prosperity would be driven by the private sector, with the government devoting its resources and political will to enabling and amplifying the potentials of private capital and removing the obstacles that continually test the resolve of the private sector.
On his part, Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki said the project was in line with his campaign promise of creating 200,000 jobs. He said the industrial park designed by Mehindra Engineering would be run under the Public Private Partnership and that the state government’s share in it will not be more than 26 per cent.