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FG Bails Out States With N1.19trn | The Precision

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•Vice President Osinbajo

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday
said the Federal Government supported the 36 States with about N1.19
trillion as at Sept. 2017 for the execution of various programmes.

Osinbajo, who disclosed this in Lokoja during the maiden Kogi State
Economic and Investment Summit, said the intervention was to enable the
states address paucity of funds for execution of programmes.
He said that the funds which were made available through the Excess
Crude Account, Paris Club refunds and loans among others had enabled
some state governments to embark on capital expenditures.
Osinbajo explained that some of the funds were legal entitlements of
the states to which they legally had access, while others were loans to
be repaid.
The vice president noted that the present administration had the
highest capital expenditures in the last two years, owing to the
on-going roads construction across the country, railway lines and hydro
power projects.
He described the summit as timely, saying it came at the time the
country was involving ways to reduce its dependence on oil and increase
its non-oil income with the promotion of agriculture and the abundant
solid mineral resources in the country.
Osinbajo said that Kogi was strategically located and endowed with
vast mineral resources that could make it a hub of production and
commercial activities, a feat the summit aimed to achieve.
Also speaking, Gov. Yahaya Bello said the summit was packaged to
alter the status of the 27-year old Kogi 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 problems that had inhibited the economic growth of the state.
Bello said the state was presently safe for investors and
investments, adding that the problem of security had been tackled
headlong.
“We are shedding 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
Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs), I invite the private sector to
collaborate with us in our bid to develop the state, Kogi state is ready
for serious business,” he said.
Bello also used the occasion to appeal to Christians, particularly,
the Catholic Bishops to ask forgiveness for disrespecting them.
“To all of my Christian brethren, I apologise for any way in which I have hurt your sensibilities.
“I also pray my August Guest today, His Excellency the Vice President
to help convey to our Christian leaders and brethren all over the world
that I would never dream of disrespecting them. I hold all faiths in
high regard,” he added.
Dr Kayode Fayemi, the Minister of Solid Minerals Development in his
presentation, said the bulk of the revenue of Kogi ought to 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 was a long term investment that would
outlive the two-term maximum tenure of any executive. (NAN)

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