Nduka Chiejina, Abuja
SOME N15 billion has been allocated to settle local contractors’ debts in next year’s Appropriation Bill, the budget details under the Service Wide Votes (SWV), has shown.
In August, contractors under the aegis of Local Contractors of Nigeria picketed the Federal Ministry of Finance over unpaid executed contracts spanning between three to 12 years and running into billions of naira in the various government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Accommodation has also been made in the budget for N5.750 billion to pay Nigeria Airways ex-workers. The government also plans to inject N15 billion into development finance, it is unclear however whether the allocation would be for a single Development Finance Institution (DFI), or not.
There are ongoing plans to recapitalise the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) with 2021 set as the target year to actualise the proposal.
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The injection of additional capital into the DBN is expected to boost its capacity to fund more Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Also in the coming year, the government said it would release a grant of N10 billion to the Bank of Industry (BoI) “to support low interest lending to SMEs.”
Aside from the DBN, other DFIs in Nigeria include: Bank of Agriculture (BOA); BoI, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN); Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM) and The Infrastructure Bank.
Also provisioned in the Appropriation Bill under Service Wide Vote, N25 billion has been earmarked for special intervention, while N5 billion has been set aside to settle MDAs electricity bills. In the budget also, N17.899 billion will be refunded to a Special Account and another N16.703 billion to the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON). A N20 billion provision has been made to address Special Intervention Programmes (SIPs) and projects