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FG votes N71.15bn for railway projects in 2021 Budget

The Federal Government has budgeted N71.15 billion in the 2021 Budget as counterpart funding for ongoing railway projects across the country. The projects include Lagos- Kano, Calabar-Lagos, Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Aladja, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi in Niger Republic and Abuja-Itakpe and Aladja Warri Port and Refinery/ Warri New Harbour.

To rehabilitate existing railway tracks, the government is expending N10 billion, N128.22 billion for railway modernisation project on Lagos–Ibadan – Kano; and N4.59 billion for the construction of outreach centres, including supply of equipment. Other allocations in the 2021 fiscal budget include N1.51 billion for the development of National Transport Databank, N2.95 billion for construction and equipping of driver development and training centres in the six geopolitical zones. This is just as the Federal Government said it would take deliberate measures to improve on the country’s revenue.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, reaffirmed government’s decision yesterday at the presentation of the 2021 budget breakdown in Abuja. She said the measures being considered would not only improve government revenue, but also entrench a regime of prudence with emphasis on achieving value for money.

“The goal of fiscal interventions will be to keep the economy active through carefully calibrated regulatory/ policy measures designed to boost domestic value-addition, de-risk the enterprise environment, attract external investment and sources of funding, etc.

“It will improve the tax administration framework to optimise government revenue as a major thrust of the administration’s Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI),” she said. The minister added that to enhance independent revenue generation and collection, government would optimise potential, operational and collection efficiency of governmentowned enterprises with a view to generating significantly higher revenue required to fund 2021 budget from identified sources.

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